A monumental and extremely rare poster for a Japanese film celebrating the War in the Pacific. Owned in partnership with Geographicus Antique Maps.
This mammoth poster and map of East Asia and the Pacific was issued to promote the Italian release of the 1958 Japanese film Battaglia del Pacifico. Produced by the Shin Toho Company and directed by Toshio Shimura, the film was originally titled (in Japanese) Admiral Yamamoto and the Allied Fleets. It focuses on the period from the early days of World War II, when Japanese forces moved quickly and aggressively to dominate the western Pacific, to the near-destruction of the Imperial fleet at the Battle of Leyte Gulf in October 1944. Written from a Japanese perspective, the film’s hero is Admiral Isorouku Yamamoto, who commanded the fleet until his death in an ambush by American Air Force fighters over Bougainville in April 1943.
The poster takes the form of an enormous map centered on the Philippines, but covering the East Asian theater of war from Hokkaido to Java and from Cambodia to Guam. Flags illustrate areas of American, British and Japanese control in late 1941 or early 1942, after the Japanese invasion of Luzon but prior to its complete conquest of the Philippines. Bold arrows and the silhouettes of planes and ships illustrate Japanese plans for further Pacific conquest. The immense size, bold graphic design and vibrant colors make this poster eminently suitable for display.
The poster consists of two unjoined sheets in remarkable condition given their size and fragility. They are capable of being joined on request, as in the image above. It is extremely rare with no other surviving examples confirmed.
Not in OCLC, and an on-line search turns up the possibility of but a single example, a poster held by the Foggia (Italy) Provincial Library.
Mild toning along folds (exaggerated in the image), and some minor wear along folds and edges, with some reinforcements on verso. Withal, about excellent for such a large and fragile item.