Strong winds fan flames that sweep city of Hakodate, Japan. Flames rise from building. People try to extinguish fire. Fireman climbs up a ladder to rescue people. In the aftermath, men and women walk around burned houses and streets. View of homes, offices and stores reduced to a mass of blackened ruins.
Segment of U.S. Information Agency film describing its libraries and Cultural Centers that provide public information abroad. View of a USIA library displaying its name in English. Another USIA cultural center and library in Burma. People assembled for lectures and discussions in such centers in various countries. A USIA book mobile surrounded by patrons in Burma. Visitors viewing displays in a USIA center. Chart showing USIA information centers closed down by Communist Governments in Bulgaria, Rumania, Czechoslovakia, USSR, China, Hungary, Poland. in Hakodate, Japan, 40 thousand citizens petitioned to keep their USIA center from closing.
Film opens with outline map of Japan shown in contrast to 20 times larger China and figures representing China's 6 times greater population. Map of China is shown in pieces representing its numerous internal fiefdoms. In contrast, Japanese soldiers are shown marching in review before their singular leader, Emperor Hirohito and other national military leaders. Film shows contrasting 20th century characteristics of China and Japan. Sun Yat-sen, who figured prominently in post-Imperial China, and is considered the founding father of the Republic of China, is shown speaking to crowds. Narrator states that in 1911, this man fathered a peoples' revolution which brought to an end, China's ancient Imperial government. View of Chinese people marching and carrying flags and banners. Books are shown comparing China's Sun Yat-sen to America's George Washingon. Sun Yat-sen's political statement, shown in Chinese, contains words similar those in Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg address. View of schools and colleges built in the new Republic of China. Chinese students shown in libraries. A couple dining in a Chinese hotel restaurant, overlooking other buildings. A tall clock tower looms at the same height outside their window. Steel being erected for a tall building. Architects at work. Scientist looking through a microscope. Technicians at work in a chemistry laboratory. Medical staff and patients in a modern hospital. Children in school under compulsory education program. Chinese people exercising their freedoms of expression and religion. The funeral of Sun Yat-sen, in 1925, attended by his successor, Chiang Kai-shek, and other Chinese leaders in military uniforms. Chinese people attending an outdoor ceremony. Examples of areas needing modernisation. Chinese workers using manually operated machinery to process fabrics. Commercial vessel plying a river using wind and sail only. Views of steam locomotives and trains being introduced to link parts of China. Trucks moving goods over roads (still unpaved). Miners working in open air mines, digging coal and iron. Molten tin being poured from a crucible. Machines performing complex tasks in a fabric mill and women tending spinning and knitting machines. School children engaged in collective outdoor games and exercise drills. Scene shifts to Japan, where Emperor Hirohito, on a white horse, leads military leaders in reviewing Japanese forces. A formation of Japanese Model 97 medium tanks passing in review, with tank commanders saluting from their turrets. Glimpse of Japanese steel mill. Headline in World-Telegram newspaper of 14 february, 1934, reads: "Tokyo House Passes Huge Arms Budget." A Los Angeles newspaper of 23 November, 1934, expands on the same story. New Orleans Times-Picayune, Sunday, 5, May, 1936, reports that Japan is strained by its huge arms costs.
Rail guns firing in World War 1. U.S. troops charging out of trenches. Allied gunners firing "French 75s" Allied twin-tailed biplane bombers. French Renault F17 tanks. Crowds in cities celebrate Armistice Day and end of World War I. Treaty of Versailles. Destruction of warships. Scenes of Paris. A pagoda in Japan. Temples in Siam, China, and Manchuria. Two Kayan women in Myanmar or Thailand perform a dance. Both Kayan women wear long brass coil neck rings. In the U.S., a boy hits a baseball and runs toward first base. Scenes of Japan invading Manchuria. Newspaper with headline: Henry Stimson denouncing Japan. U.S. Army troops dispel bonus marchers. Men in bread line. Gangsters battle in prohibition. Scenes of dust bowl in American with farmers and families heading West in caravans. Family standing by tent. Torchlight parade in Germany. Adolf Hitler with German President Hindenburg. Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, and Victor Lutze, at 1934 Nazi Rally in Nuremberg. Italian Caproni bombers over Ethiopia. Ethiopian tribesmen and Haile Selassie. U.S.Neutrality Act. American youths with a 1930 Ford coupe. Scenes from Civil war in Spain. Spanish Rebel forces in ground combat with Nationalist forces. German and Italian aircraft participate in bombing Spanish Nationalist targets in Spanish Civil War. Spanish civilians flee bombing, tend to wounded following bombings. Italian Savoia-Marchetti S.M.79 Sparviero bombers. Crowds running for shelter. Women and children victims of bombing, some crying and in shock. Spanish General Franco arrives by train in southern France to meet with Hitler. View of Gallup Poll forms, and findings, with Americans against entering European war and preferring neutrality. Japanese planes and warships attack China. Naval Chinese civilians run for cover; bodies of Chinese in trucks. Japanese freighters, Buenos Aires and Tatsuno Maru, in U.S. ports being loaded with scrap iron and metals. Hitler, Goering and other officers in 1938. Adolf Hitler, Neville Chamberlain, Edouard Daladier, Benito Mussolini, Count Ciano sign Munich Agreement. Hitler riding standing up in an open car during a rally in Germany. Elevated view of Los Angeles, then view of traffic on streets of Los Angeles California and newspapers being sold to pedestrians. Citizens in movie theater watching Confessions of a Nazi Spy. German-American Bund activities including outdoor rallies in the U.S., and an indoor rally in Madison Square Garden. Emperor Hirohito reviewing World War 2 troops of Japan. Japanese steel production and arms production in Japanese factories. The Hokoku Maru Japanese ship being launched with fanfare from Tama Shipyards on July 5, 1939. Meeting of United States Military Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives in late 1939 to consider national defense matters. In meeting of Naval Affairs Committee, representative asks for increase of 25 percent in authorized naval tonnage.
'Tambo Rice Fields: A Spring time Ramble in Rural Japan' shows rural family in Japan work in rice paddy.Water dykes are prepared. Water is logged into the rice field. The family prepare rice seedbeds at start of spring time in Japan..April 1934.
Title card notes that Babe Ruth got a 'hero's ovation' when he came to Japan, leading an American all-star team that visited after the 1934 season. Brief shot of some team members shows Ruth in center, manager Connie Mack on right, and several other players. Game action at unidentified Japanese stadium. Japanese people watch the game. (Note: Baseball was introduced to Japan in 1872 by Horace Wilson, an English professor at the Kaisei Gakko School in Tokyo. The first baseball team was called the Shimbashi Athletic Club and was established in 1878.)