The exhibit shows the postal history of the Forerunners from the Sino-Japanese War, occupation of Korea, China, Manchuria, and Formosa, the Boxer Uprising in China, then the Russo-Japanese War and the Field Post Office (FPO) system, with mail being transported back to Japan by ship and to Russia by the Trans-Siberian railway. The International world was also interested in this war and observers/advisors were present in Japan, Russia and Manchuria during this campaign; also present, reporting the war, were historians and newspaper correspondents. The Post-war section has mail from occupies Manchuria and Korea. Given the focus of this journal, the sample pages included are those that have some relevance to Korea.
The lead up to the Russo-Japanese War was due to Japan’s concern over Chinese control of Korea and the possibilities of subsequent Russian control of Manchuria and Korea; this lead to the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895), which on conclusion resulted in the treaty of Shimonoseki, in which Japan gained control of Formosa and the Liaotung peninsula (Manchuria), Russia with cooperation from Germany and France brought diplomatic pressure on Japan to return the Manchurian territory to China. Russia then convinced China that the Russian Fleet should be based at Port Arthur to defend the gateway to Manchuria. In 1898 Russia arranged formal leasehold with China for occupation of the Liaotung peninsula in order to make a railway connection from Port Arthur to Mukden, then Harbin, connecting with the Trans-Siberian Railway.