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

Ogura Nobu's Return Trip: Moji

Report of Fukuoka Governor.

From: Fukuoka Governor Matsumoto Manabu

To: Adachi Kenzō, Foreign Minister Shidehara Kijūrō, and the governors of all prefectures in Japan, 1929-09-17.

Title: Regarding the matter of a woman abducted by a Chinese and then secured and repatriated.

Governor Matsumoto reported on Ogura Nobu's transit through Moji on her way back to Kobe. "Considering that this might be a case of the Chinese common practice of abducting Japanese women, [I] am sending this along for your reference." Ogura told Moji officials that she had been helping out the family farm with farming and sewing after graduating elementary school when she became close to Chen, a cloth peddler from Fuzhou who was residing in Sanbu-gun Toyoumi mura Makame aza and who frequented her family home. She married Chen with her parents' consent, she explained, and the couple decided to go to China because Chen's mother sent word that she was ill. Once they arrived in Shanghai, however, consular police investigated her and explained that Chinese peddlers, mainly from Fujian, were in the habit of seducing rural women with no knowledge of the world, giving them gifts of cloth or cheap jewelry and other trinkets, and abducting them. and that a large number of such Japanese women and children were suffering extreme hardships in the interior beyond [Fuzhou]. In June of that year, consular police had managed to extricate a few women and children. Thus warning her, officials kept her at the consulate and then placed her on the Maya-maru for repatriation.

Ogura, however, was having none of it. Matsumoto reported that she was indignant, that she declared her firm belief in Chen, and that there was no telling when she might again cross over to China. "While it is not clear whether Chen Zhaopin intended to abduct Ogura," the report continued,"given the past examples of such actions, we felt that this might be an identical case." Chen was also bound to attempt to re-enter Japan, but this would not be desirable, Matsumoto warned in closing.

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