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.
12019-11-18T17:18:31-05:00Kate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5f354Demchugdongrub with Li Shouxin and Tanaka Ryūkichi, circa 1936. Photograph.plain2020-09-09T15:26:39-04:0041.70022, 110.43592Inner Mongolia1936Wikimedia Commons.1936Public domain.Sakura ChristmasDemchugdongrub; Li Shouxin; Tanaka Ryūkichi; Mengjiang; Kwantung Army.SMC-0009Kandra Polatis4decfc04157f6073c75cc53dcab9d25e87c02133
This page is referenced by:
12019-11-18T17:18:26-05:00New Nomads of the Sky15Manchuria Aviation Company; Inner Mongolia; Demchugdongrub; Nagabuchi Saburō; aerial expansionplain2021-09-28T10:33:06-04:0041.70022, 110.43592Bailingmiao1935-1936Sakura ChristmasDemchugdongrubManAir
Boundaries in the sky did not so neatly conform to those on earth, and airplanes of dubious origin moved with freedom throughout China. In 1935, Manchuria Aviation Company representative Nagabuchi Saburō traveled beyond the borders of Manchukuo to Bailingmiao to persuade Demchugdongrub, the leader of the autonomous movement in Inner Mongolia, to let the company increase operations, not to mention, sell him a plane or two. As recounted in the company magazine, ManAir, Nagabuchi said to the prince:
In the age when the Mongols conquered the entire world, those of the fastest speed were horses. In Mongolia, the horses were many. From now on, in this age of the airplane, the future lies in transportation across the sky, so the country with the most airplanes will master the globe.
In response, “Demchugdongrub who put on airs about being the next Chinggis Khan, was exceptionally pleased” (Nagabuchi 1935). Nagabuchi compared airplanes to nomads and the sky to the steppe not only to appeal to the prince’s nationalist sensibilities, but also to justify Japanese violations against both Mongolian and Chinese sovereignty. In the logic of open space, whether sky or steppe, conventional notions of territoriality no longer held. In the uneven and uncertain boundaries of the Japanese empire, these men saw airplanes as the new nomads in defying and redefining territoriality in a region of strategic significance.