Manchukuo (1942-1945)


In 1932 the Chinese region of Manchuria was set up as a nominally independent Japanese puppet state, in 1942 the national anthem was changed to a more Japan-centric piece, also created by Zheng Xiaoxu (the first premier of Manchukuo and the author of the previous anthem) and composed by a prolific Japanese music composer, and conductor of the Tokyo Philharmonic; it was adopted four years after the lyricist’s death. While the Emperor referred to in the lyrics is the Japanese-installed Emperor of Manchukuo, Puyi (who was also the last emporer of China, it was under his reign in China that the “Gong Jin’ou” anthem was written), the official explanation of the lyrics refer to “God” meaning the Shinto sun goddess Amaterasu (from whom Japanese emperors are said to be descended from), and the “divine work” being the war effort to aid their ally Japan.

Special thanks to: Jo Hyo-roe for the sheet music.