Walls Invisible….

THE NEW UNWALLED IMPERIAL PALACE, “Shinkyo” (Changchun) (as of 1945 plan)

PLA completion of New Palace

THE OLD WALLED PALACE IN MUKDEN (ca 1600

奉天宮殿鳳凰楼 Mukden Imp. Palace Phoenix PavilionA WAR OF IMAGES….

The propaganda war between the (Nationalist) Republic and the Japanese imperial machine waged hottest during the pre-invasion window separating the Kanto army’s seizure of the Southern Manchurian Railroad corridor in 1931 (and the coordinated incorporation of that seizure into a joint public-private “enterprise” called the S. Manchurian RR Co. (SMRC) in that same year), though the “hot” war carrying south into China “proper” did not start until Aug. 1937.

During that build up the latter organization spearheaded a drive to impress upon Chinese, Korean, and Mongolian settlers the vision of a utopian “new order” actually founded in brick-and-mortar infrastructure renewal, urban planning, and the fostering of a mix of post-traditional building styles and zoning controls unheard of in most of downcoast China, save only in Shanghai’s Jiangwan model township experiment designed by the architect 董大酋 (Dong Dayou) more or less independently of the Nanking KMT regime.

The following composite overlays a key 1935 emigration-hortatory agitrop placard meant to stimulate abandonment of the (old) Chinese-Manchu Northeaterm capital of Mukden/Shenyang (renamed Fengtian) and resettlement to fill the newly rising “New Capital” (Shinkyo) just then being built to accomodate a million residents (though only 250,000 in phase 1, 1932-7). The appended soundtrack “vocalizes” the the SMRC (civilian) idealism underwriting this persuasion: it is the school song of the training academy launched by that organization in Dalian in ca. 1928, poignantly (and I think in its time sincerely) setting forth the almost Pioneer like dream of a new frontier of open space where the blessings of the new could be fostered without the encumbrance of prior inhabitation and squalor.

As well – it is important to note – as advertising the transfer of the puppet Kangde emperor, Puyi, from the old-stye walled (citadel) of Mukden (below) into an entirely open lodge-like structure facing a spacious public park or rather Town Center deploying pubic-access buildings around an open square. (above),

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