Last modified: 2020-07-31 by ian macdonald
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image by Kazutaka Nishiura, 14 April 2015
From 1937 to 1940, Japan occupied Shanghai.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 26 March 1998
Today, I incidentally found some mentioning of this flag and puppet government behind this flag in the article "Hanjian! --Collaboration and Retribution in Wartime Shanghai" by Frederic Wakeman Jr., a historian at the University of California Berkeley. This article was published in the book Becoming Chinese: Passages to Modernity and Beyond (edited by Wen-hsin Yeh, University of California Press, 2000):
On December 5 1937, Su Xiwen, a Waseda (Waseda University, Japan)-educated philosopher, inaugurated "the Great Way" (the Dadao) puppet municipal government of Shanghai. Su has taught political theory at the private Chizhi Univeristy in Jiangwan. His Buddhist-Daoist syncretism ("All under heaven one family / Myriad laws revert to one") influenced the Great Way government's choice of flag, which is a taiji (=yin-yang) symbol on a yellow background. [...]
In truth, the Dadao puppet government was short-lived, at least in nomenclature. The malodorous characteristics of its leading members, a potpourri of Venerable Mother religious cultists, smugglers, gamblers, narcotics dealers, panderers, and former rickshaw pullers, were liability enough. But just as damaging was the Japanese handlers' contempt for Su Xiwen, whose philosophizing was not taken very seriously after the Special Services brought in a tough north China hanjian (collaborationist) named Wang Zihui to run their Shanghai operations.
[...] Consequently, after the puppet administration in north China was incorporated in January into a single provisional government, in South China a "Reform Government" was set up in March 1938 in Nanjing headed by Liang Hongzhi.
[...] Shanghai sympathizers [...] tepidly celebrated the establishment of the Reform Government on March 28, 1938. The puppet Self-Government Committee held one meeting in the Confucian Temple where, under the old five-bar national flag of the Beiyang warlords
[...] Within a month, on April 28, 1938, the Reform Government has commissioned a Supervisionary Yamen to take over the functions of municipal administration formerly wielded by the Dadao puppet regime. Su Xiwen formally recognized the superior legitimacy of the Reform Government by adopting its flag in May 3..."
A brief summary on flags used in Japanese-occupied Japan:
14 August - 5 December 1937: Japanese flag
5 December 1937- 2 May 1938: Flag of the Dadao Government; Yin-yang on yellow
5 May 1938- 29 March 1940: Reform Government, 1912 flag.
30 March 1940 onwards: Nanking Government, PoC-1927 flag with pennant.
John Ma, 27 November 2003
This is the flag of New Peoples Society in Beijing 北平新民会 in Dec 1937 which was
yellow flag with green and red yin-yan design in the center which is very
similar to the reported flag of Shanghai Great Way government supported by
I have no idea of what is the background the flag used in Beijing became Shanghai government flag. Is there some proof that Shanghai government used the yin-yan flag ?
Sources: the photo of the flag from 1 "Atlas of Flags in China" Aug 2003 and
Japanese old magazine Asahi Graph Dec 1937 at national Diet Library Tokyo.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 14 April 2015
image located from wiki by Nozomi Kariyasu, 15 April 2015
There is photo of a flag my father was
awarded in China. It is a Japanese flag that flew above the city of Dong Ping,
China when re-captured by the Chinese in 1945. I have been unable to locate the
Japanese origin of this flag.
Any information as to the source of this flag will be deeply appreciated. I am also enclosing the interpretations of the characters upon it in English to hopefully help you in identification.
The Dong Ping Flag. "This is a flag used to be hung shamelessly over the city of Dong Ping by the Japanese bandits. They advocated that they are invincible and they are also going to build the so called commonwealth of Asia. They deployed around 15000 infantry, 800 cavalary, 1000 vihecles, 200 tanks and some aircrafts and also 20000 Collaborationist Chinese troops against us. They wanted to wipe us out by destorying our homes and killing our people. We are so determined to break their evil plan. We turned their dream into tear. One detachment of our troops had travelled two days and two nights. They came through great difficulties and got the city back from Japanese.
We replaced this flag with our flag and we won the battle. To Mr. Albert. Your Dear Comrade Li Jue. 1945.1.23 "
Please answer if you can be of help, and your time is deeply appreciated. Mr. Albert was my father, Albert J. Fisher. An American pilot shot down, captured by the Japanese and rescued by the then Communist Chinese. He spent several months traveling with them, and was awarded many high honor gifts.
Doug Fisher, 21 August 2012
Xinminhui (新民會, "New People's Association"), a collaborationist,
quasi-political-party organization in northern China under Japanese occupation
during the Sino-Japanese War (1937-45). Note its semblance to the flag of Nazi
Also a note on the black emblem: this is the "Fu" (黻) badge, an ancient Chinese symbol consists of back-to-back ideograms for a bow (弓). Traditionally it symbolizes knowing right from wrong; however in the context of the Sino-Japanese War, the emblem resembles the ideogram for Asia (亞), a reference to the Imperial Japanese ambition for a "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere".
Miles Li, 21 August 2012
New flag of New Peoples Society since Mar 1st 1943 which was changed from
yellow flag to red/white with kanji 亜 initial of Asia in black in the center.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 15 April 2015