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Map, World, Specialty, Flight Routes, Japanese, Aviation, Vintage Print, 1930

World Flight Route Map
Osaka Mainichi Shimbun, Osaka, Japan: January 1, 1930
Color process print
30 x 41.75 inches, overall
27.5 x 39.75 inches, border
Price on Request

Large Japanese wall map of the world showing international flight routes. It was published as a supplement to the 1930 New Year’s Day edition of the Osaka Mainichi Shimbun newspaper, one of the major Japanese dailies. The elliptical map is centered on Japan, surrounded by a ring of elliptically shaped black and white photographic images of scenery and landmarks from around the world, including local people, as well as flora and fauna.

The map is surrounded by a wide red border, with the map title at the top. It is drawn on a Mollweide projection, as opposed to the more commonly used Mercator projection. Cartographers use the Mollweide projection when an accurate representation of area takes precedence over the accuracy of shapes. Countries are in shades of yellow, orange, green, red, purple and brown; oceans are blue. Geography is simple, showing countries; cities, each marked with a small white circle or square; and mountain ranges, indicated by hatching. Each country has a small illustration of its national flag or that of the applicable colonial power. Of additional historical interest is an inset map of the Micronesian Islands in the Pacific Ocean showing Guam with the U.S. flag, and the Marshall Islands, Marianas chain and Caroline Islands with the Japanese flag, noted as under Japanese mandate.


The map is intended as a version of a centuries-old Japanese board game called sugoroku, typically played around New Year’s by young people. In this version, the pieces would advance along an airplane flight path, landing on the photographs, which were to be identified by the player before moving on. Text in the upper left and right spandrels lists major highlights and achievements in aviation history and information about the longest flights on record through 1929. The lower informational texts are aimed at educating the young players. Flight routes are marked in solid and dashed red lines of varying thicknesses, corresponding to a key in the lower right spandrel. In keeping with its theme, tiny photographs of airplanes and zeppelins decorate the oceans and the corners of each spandrel are small propeller shapes in gray.

The Osaka Mainichi Shimbun daily newspaper was founded in 1876. It merged with the Tokyo Nichi Nichi Shimbun in 1911, but continued to publish independently until 1943, when both editions were placed under the Mainichi Shimbun masthead. The company still publishes one of Japan’s three largest newspapers, in addition to having broadcast and online operations.

Condition: Generally very good, formerly folded, as issued. Now professionally cleaned, flattened, deacidified, and backed with Japanese tissue, thus repairing some minor marginal tears and chips, as well as separations and minor losses at folds and intersections, but still with some remaining light toning, wear, handling.


“Mainichi Shimbun.” Wikipedia. 26 December 2013. (13 February 2014).

Marcus, Marvin. E-mail correspondence. 10 February 2014.

“Sugoroku.” Wikipedia. 21 June 2013. (13 February 2014).

Additional information


20th Century