Bodies and Structures 2.0: Deep-Mapping Modern East Asian HistoryMain MenuGet to Know the SiteGuided TourShow Me HowA click-by-click guide to using this siteModulesRead the seventeen spatial stories that make up Bodies and Structures 2.0Tag MapExplore conceptsComplete Grid VisualizationDiscover connectionsGeotagged MapFind materials by geographic locationLensesCreate your own visualizationsWhat We LearnedLearn how multivocal spatial history changed how we approach our researchAboutFind information about contributors and advisory board members, citing this site, image permissions and licensing, and site documentationTroubleshootingA guide to known issuesAcknowledgmentsThank youDavid Ambaras1337d6b66b25164b57abc529e56445d238145277Kate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5fThis project was made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Japanese residents in Shanghai, 1870-1945
12020-04-30T18:06:29-04:00Kate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5f3512Japanese residents in Shanghai 1870-1945, table from Shanghai Shi difang zhiban gongshi zhuban, ed., Shanghai tongzhi [Shanghai gazetteer].plain2021-09-20T09:52:02-04:0031.2463, 121.49736Shanghai1870-1945Shanghai Shi difang zhiban gongshi zhuban. www.shtong.gov.cn.Fair use.David R. Ambarasimage/jpegDRA-0011TextKate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5f
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12020-04-30T18:06:13-04:00Ogura Nobu's Return Trip: Kobe12Report of Hyogo Governor on Ogura Nobu's arrival in Kobe, 1929-09-17.plain2021-10-12T10:37:05-04:0034.68601, 135.2143235.44262, 139.64637Ōsaka BayYokohama09/17/1929David R. AmbarasOgura NobuChen Zhaopin
Even more details emerged when Ogura's ship reached Kobe, from where she had departed a week earlier.
A report from Hyōgo Prefecture Governor Takahashi Mamoru indicated that when the couple had boarded the Nagasaki-maru, Ogura was already disguised as Chen Wusong and pretending to speak no Japanese. To an incredulous harbor official, Chen Zhaopin then explained that they had married ten years ago in their hometown and had soon after come to Japan, where he had worked as a clothes peddler in Chiba. (The couple had clearly practiced for various contingencies.) The inspector let them proceed, but contacted Nagasaki to ask them to re-investigate the couple when they got there.
Back in Kobe, Ogura spoke out again:
“I had been living with my uncle Akihara Kiyoshi, who runs a restaurant in my hometown, and married Chen in April; he was working as cloth peddler. My aunt Toki married a Fujianese named Weng twenty years ago and currently lives in Shanghai and engages in commerce. Chen also wanted to move to Shanghai and start a clothing trading business, so we decided to go to China at this time. I felt safe because my aunt was in Shanghai. But the consular officials in Shanghai lectured me on the dangers, advised me to return to Japan and then put me on the boat. My luggage (a sewing machine, habutae, futon, and kimono, total worth some 500 yen) is still in Shanghai, so after returning to my place of household registration, I will consult with my parents and intend to again go to China. On the way back to Chiba, I plan to stop in Yokohama to visit my uncle Lin [Hayashi?] who runs the Kirakutei restaurant in Naka-ku [name unknown]-chō.” [Note: Yokohama's Chinatown is in Naka-ku.]
Whether or not her story, including her reference to an aunt living in Shanghai, was true or another script that she and Chen had prepared, Ogura Nobu presented herself as part of a network that extended from Chiba to Yokohama to Shanghai and beyond. And the fact that she had traveled with 500 yen worth of belongings, including a sewing machine, that were still on the mainland, suggests that she was not of a low social background. Subsequent reports would provide even more details on her personal situation.
An adjacent life, another story
Ogura Nobu had not been the only Japanese woman attempting to cross to Fuqing via Shanghai on the Nagasaki-maru that departed Kobe on September 10. Governor Takahashi's report (pp. 3-4) indicated that 42-year-old Lin Mine and her three children were also on board. Explore their story. Given the cramped situation of third-class passengers, could Ogura and Lin have noticed each other, or exchanged words?