Radical Geography

This map is pretty serious The View From Chennai bait:

A Humorous Diplomatic Atlas of Europe and Asia

According to Frank Jacobs this map, titled “A Humorous Diplomatic Atlas of Europe and Asia” was published by a Japanese student in 1904, at the start o the Russo-Japanese war.

The text in the top left box reads:

‘Black Octopus’ is the name newly given to Russia by a certain prominent Englishman [i.e. Fred W. Rose]. For the black octopus is so avaricious, that he stretches out his eight arms in all directions, and seizes up every thing that comes within his reach. But as it sometimes happens he gets wounded seriously even by a small fish, owing to his too much covetousness(sic). Indeed, a Japanese proverb says: “Great avarice is like unselfishness.” We Japanese need not to say much on the cause of the present war. Suffice it to say, that the further existence of the Black Octopus will depend entirely upon how he comes out of this war. The Japanese fleet has already practically annihilated Russia’s naval power in the Orient. The Japanese army is about to win a signal victory over Russia in Corea & Manchuria. And when… St Petersburg? Wait and see! The ugly Black Octopus! Hurrah! Hurrah! for Japan.

Takeaway point: If you had an idea for a joke in 1904, your first step was to spend 500 hours drawing an intricate map.

(Much much more on octopuses in maps at the original post.)



1 comment
  1. mangy cat said:

    so that`s where the vampire squid originated

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