Bodies and Structures 2.0: Deep-Mapping Modern East Asian History

"Chen Wusong" arrives in Shanghai

We begin with a discovery:

Asia Bureau

Classified, no. 1060
September 16, 1929

From: Shanghai Consul General Shigemitsu Mamoru
To: Foreign Minister Shidehara Kijūrō

Regarding a Japanese woman rescued from abduction by a Chinese:

We have already reported to you about this matter in [messages dated June 5, 1929, June 11, 1929, August 8, 1929, and August 9, 1929.] Since then, we have been having consular police officers board all Japanese ships from the metropole, to check passengers carefully. On September 12, 1929, they found on the Nagasaki-maru ferry a woman dressed as a Chinese, claiming to be Chen Wusong, in the company of a Chinese man, Chen Zhaopin. But her behavior was suspicious, and on questioning it turned out she was Ogura Nobu, 28, of Chiba-ken Sanbu-gun Toyoumi-mura Makame-aza, granddaughter of household head Matsuzō. Last September, she became acquainted with Chen, who came to her village as a clothes peddler. This year in April, through the intermediation of villager Shinozaki Kitarō, they got married with her parents' permission, on the condition that they would not go to China. They resided in the village, but early last month, they received a letter from Chen's parents in  Fuqing County, Gaoshan town, asking them to come to introduce the new wife. They planned to go for a three-month visit, and departed Kobe on the Nagasaki-maru on the 10th. She told [us] that she was questioned at Nagasaki and told harbor police there that she had her parents’ and brothers’ permission and was thus permitted to continue; she then pleaded [with the consular police] not to prevent her from continuing to travel with Chen. But they told her in detail about the conditions of the women in Fuqing  and made her stop her trip. We kept her at the consulate and arranged for her to return to Japan on Maya-maru on the 14th, and to be sent, with the assistance of the Kobe harbor police, back to her place of legal domicile.

Copies of this report are sent to the Fuzhou Consul General and to the Governors of Nagasaki, Hyōgo, and Chiba Prefectures.

{Document reviewed and stamped by Asia Bureau Section 2 [Chief] Miura [Takemi]}


On legal regulations concerning travel between Japan and China at this time, see "Border (in)security."

Click here for a company history of the NYK's Shanghai route published in 1932 (in Japanese).

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