Launched in Tokyo in 1919 as the flagship of the Japan-America Association by Benjamin Fleisher (1870-1946), publisher of the Japan Advertiser, the Trans-Pacific began with a mission to stimulate US-Japan amity. Published monthly, then weekly, and sharing editorial and corporate resources with the Japan Advertiser, the Trans-Pacific soon became that newspaper’s de facto weekly edition, serving up a heady mix of political, cultural and commercial news to forward-looking Japanese and western readerships. A victim of its own success, the Trans-Pacific was bought out by the Japan Times in December 1940, ending its brief but distinguished career in uneasy partnership with the Japan Times Weekly.
The Trans-Pacific Online
Published from Tokyo from September 1919 to November 1940 as the monthly then weekly edition of the American-owned English-language daily, the Japan Advertiser, the Trans-Pacific was initially a hands-across-the-ocean project for the Advertiser publisher, B.W. Fleisher's America-Japan Society, published with sections in Chinese and Japanese.
Published monthly from September 1919 to March 1923, then weekly from May 1923 until November 7th 1940, the Trans-Pacific evolved from its initial purpose of Japanese-American amity to a mixture of US and Japanese commercial news and political reporting.
The Trans-Pacific had a rocky history. It was suspended in April-May 1923 for commercial reasons, then from four months from the September 1923 earthquake, reviving in January 1924. Financial problems then prevented publication from October 30 to May 7 1931, when a consortium, of American and Japanese interests came to its rescue. In November 1940 the Trans-Pacific was acquired by the Japan Times along with its parent newspaper, the Japan Advertiser, at what Fleisher later referred to as 'a blackmail price' - US$100,000, one quarter the price paid by the Japan Times, bankrolled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, (Gaimushō), for the Japan Chronicle.
Until this purchase, by which the Trans-Pacific was folded into the Japan Times Weekly as the Japan Times Weekly and Trans-Pacific, the Trans-Pacific stood for American commercial interests in East Asia, like its owner, a feisty, informative voice of American opinion. In its new incarnation under the drum-beating Japan Times, it lent its credibility to Japan's march to Pearl Harbor, continuing throughout 1942 until the Nippon Times replaced the Japan Times in January 1943.
Note: Brill now offers this virtually complete run as a single title Primary Source Online. As missing issues emerge, they will be included in this Primary Source at no extra cost to purchasers.
Features and benefits
- Published by Japan Advertiser Tokyo Sep. 1 1919 to Nov. 7 1940
- Published as Japan Times Weekly and Trans-Pacific, 1940-41 (1 issue included in the Japan Times Weekly and Nippon Times Weekly Primary Source Online collection)
- Monthly September 1919 to March 1923; weekly May 1923- Nov. 7th
- Full-colour 300 ppi pages from high-quality originals
- Fully text-searchable
- Exclusive rights with Brill
- Source: SOAS, London University and Waseda University, Tokyo.
- Length: 24 pages
- No holding of this duration and quality available in digital format. currently only lacking 1919-23 and 1938-1940
Cite this page
Trans-Pacific Online, Advisor: Peter O'Connor (Emeritus Professor, Musashino University, Tokyo), Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2020 <http://primarysources.brillonline.com/browse/trans-pacific-online>