“Nepal is a closed country.” These were the first lines penned by Byodo Tsushō, a Japanese Buddhist monk who published an account of his travels in Nepal in the 1935 issue of the Pan-Asianist journal, Dai Ajiashugi. Three years earlier, Byodo Tsushō was sponsored by the Hongan-ji sect of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism to study in India and traveled throughout Burma, Afghanistan, and Nepal. Ever since Kawaguchi Ekai, the celebrated Japanese monk who travelled to Nepal and Tibet at the turn of the 20th century, Japanese Buddhist leaders maintained a fascination for the Himalayas as a site to rediscover lost Buddhist knowledge. However, Japanese interest in the Himalayas was not restricted to collecting Buddhist sutras. As Richard Jaffe has recently argued, the travels of Japanese Buddhist monks in South Asia were intimately tied with extending Japan’s diplomatic and economic influence in the region. The termination of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance in 1923 marked a new phase in Japan’s participation in the so-called “Great Game.” Instead of affirming British imperial hegemony over Asia under the alliance, Japanese leaders by the 1920s and into the 1930s sought to challenge both British and Soviet imperial ambitions by courting reformist leaders in Afghanistan and Nepal through appeals to Pan-Asian solidarity.
At the time of Byodo’s travels, Nepal was ruled by the Ranas; a hereditary dynasty of prime ministers that had usurped power from the monarchy in the mid-19th century and reduced the Nepalese king to a figurehead sovereign. Nepal occupied a unique position in the British Indian Empire. Neither a colony, nor one of the many princely states that dotted the Indian subcontinent, nor fully independent, Nepal under the Ranas pursued a policy of alignment with Britain while leveraging the benefits of its alliance with the raj. Historians have generally understood Rana rule as repressive and corrupt. While this is undoubtedly true, reform-minded Rana ministers also sought alliances beyond Britain to assert Nepalese sovereignty, particularly after Britain formally recognized Nepal’s independence in 1923. Japanese observers saw an opportunity to cultivate an ally in the Himalayas amid tensions with both the British Empire and Nationalist China. For their part, the Rana regime sought to leverage Japanese support for Nepal’s modernization while asserting, though cautiously, its political and economic independence from British India. Through the experiences and accounts of a monk, a military officer, and a diplomat, this article aims to draw attention to the possibilities and limitations of Japanese appeals to Pan-Asian solidarity to bring Nepal into the orbit of Japan’s emerging Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. Japanese leaders framed economic and military aid to countries on the frontiers of Britain’s Asian Empire, such as Nepal, as part of the Pan-Asianist project of overthrowing European imperialism and laying the foundation of a new internationalism that was based on Asian self-determination and cultural rejuvenation that upheld Japan as the model for Asia to follow. However, the case of Nepal demonstrates that such aid was often deployed to challenge both British and Japanese economic imperialism and assert political sovereignty.
Byodo Tsushō and Nepal as Japan’s Past
When Byodo Tsushō described Nepal as a “closed country” he used the term sakoku (鎖国). This was a term used to describe Japan’s policy of “isolation” from the rest of the world during the Tokugawa shogunate (1600–1868). Scholars have long challenged the notion of Tokugawa isolationism by drawing attention to fact that although Japan’s connections with Europe during this period were limited to the Dutch, Tokugawa merchants maintained extensive trading networks with East and Southeast Asia well into the 19th century. Yet, sakoku – and its inverse, kaikoku (開国) or “open country” – carried with it significant discursive meaning during the late 19th and early 20th centuries as Japan asserted itself as a modern nation-state and empire that could stand alongside the Great Powers of Europe and the United States. For Japanese nationalists, sakoku symbolized the oppression of the old feudal order under the Tokugawa shogunate. Whereas kaikoku represented the era of “civilization and enlightenment” (bunmei kaika, 文明開化) that the Meiji Restoration and its leaders ushered in for Japan. Thus, sakoku and kaikoku were placed within a linear historical framework that Japanese nationalists used to explain Japan’s rise as a modern and “civilized” power that could assume the task of bringing the rest of its Asian neighbors to higher stages of development and progress.
In claiming that Nepal was a “closed country,” Byodo relegated Nepal to a lower stage of development in comparison to Japan. But the comparisons did not stop there. For Byodo, the resemblances between Japan and Nepal’s historical experiences were striking. Like Oda Nobunaga (1534–1592), who united Japan’s warring han (feudal domains) under a single banner during the Azuchi-Momoyama period, Nepal’s warring kingdoms and polities were united in 1774 under the Gorkha king, Prithvi Narayan Shah. Like Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537–1598), who invaded Korea shortly after Japan’s unification to challenge Chinese hegemony, the rulers of the Shah dynasty invaded Tibet in 1784. This sparked the Sino-Nepalese War (1788–1792), which led to Chinese intervention and drove the Nepalese army back across the mountains, just as a Chinese intervention had helped to expel Hideyoshi’s army from the Korean peninsula. And just as the Tokugawa shoguns ruled in the name of the Emperor and enacted the sakoku edicts in the hope of staving off European imperial expansion into Japan, the Rana dynasty of prime ministers ruled in the name of the king and pursued a cautious, if not isolationist, foreign policy to preserve Nepal’s sovereignty from the imperial designs of China to its north as well as the British East India Company (EIC) to its south.
Yet there was one major difference between Nepal and Japan according to Byodo. Whereas Japan’s isolation was self-imposed, Nepal’s isolation was enforced by the British Indian government. When the Shah kings turned southward after the Sino-Nepalese War, Nepal came into conflict with the EIC, which was also expanding its economic and political influence over northern India. Tensions between Nepal and the Company came to a head with the eruption of the Anglo-Nepalese War (1814–1816). Despite the success of the Company Army on the battlefield, Nepalese resistance was fierce, and the campaign became one of the costliest wars the EIC fought in its conquest of the Indian subcontinent. The Treaty of Sugauli (1816) led to Nepal ceding much of its southern conquests to the EIC and effectively confined Nepal to the Himalayas. Under the treaty, Nepal was compelled to accept a British Resident in Kathmandu. While the British Resident did not have as much power in Nepal as his counterparts further south in the Indian princely states, his presence enabled the EIC to direct Nepal’s foreign policy and intervene in Nepalese politics. In the ensuing power struggles between the Shah monarchy and the Ranas, the British tacitly backed latter. The first Rana ruler, Jung Bahadur Rana, pursed a policy of alignment with Britain and aspired to modernize the country along British lines. However, Bahadur Rana was also adamant in asserting Nepalese independence from the Company. During his visit to Europe in 1850, Bahadur Rana insisted that he travel as a Royal Ambassador of the king and attempted to establish direct diplomatic relations with the British and French governments, thereby bypassing the role of the Resident in Nepal in managing the country’s foreign affairs. Although he was unsuccessful in this regard, Bahadur’s travels in Europe convinced him and his successors of Nepal’s need for reform.
For much of the latter half of the 19th and into the early 20th centuries, the relationship between the British and the Ranas was a mutually beneficial one. The British were content to keep Nepal as a convenient buffer in the Himalayas against China and benefitted from recruiting Gurkha soldiers into the British Indian Army to help police Britain’s Asian empire. The Ranas on the other hand could rely on British support for the regime against internal disorder and foreign threats, the latter particularly from Tibet. Yet few ordinary Nepalese benefitted from this alliance between their rulers and the British. Despite the ambitions of Bahadur Rana to modernize Nepal, the pace of development was hindered by several factors. In addition to the frequent power struggles within the large Rana family over which of its many branches would secure political power, the British attempted to ensure that its Nepalese ally would not pursue foreign policy and trade decisions that were unmediated by the Resident. An often-cited anecdote that illustrates the corruption and poor state of infrastructural development in Nepal under the Ranas describes that until the construction of the Tribuvan Highway in 1957, imported Rolls-Royce’s for the elite of Kathmandu were disassembled at the foothills of the Himalayas and carried up the mountains by hundreds of labourers before being reassembled in the capital. When Byodo visited Nepal in the mid-1930s, he observed with shock that the conditions and rhythms of village life not only greatly resembled Japan’s Tokugawa past, but that the people he interacted with appeared to be blind in their loyalty to Britain.
Byodo used the analogy of a butterfly trapped in a jar to describe Britain’s economic and political stranglehold over Nepal. Referring to a kodoku magic ritual in which the practitioner entraps a butterfly as a charm to gain wealth on the condition that it is kept well-fed, Britain hoped that by keeping Nepal in the jar, it would continue to enrich the empire and ensure its hegemony in Asia. However, because Britain failed to keep Nepal “fed” by granting greater autonomy to the Himalayan kingdom even after Britain’s recognition of Nepalese independence in 1923, Byodo believed that a Nepalese Restoration along the lines of Meiji Japan was on the horizon. Already, Byodo saw signs of this in the Rana that ruled Nepal at the time of his visit, Juddha Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana (r. 1932–1945). Juddha Shumsher embarked on an ambitious program of reform encouraging Nepalese industry, infrastructural development such as telegraph and telephone lines, and placing the trade balance between Britain and Nepal on a more equal footing. Crucially, Juddha Shumsher encouraged an independent foreign policy and sought to cultivate relations with other countries around the world, including Japan. Byodo interpreted the willingness of Juddha Shumsher to allow Japanese Buddhist monks to visit Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautama Buddha, as an indicator that Nepal was receptive to establishing close relations with Japan and that the day when Britain could no longer lean on its Nepalese ally would arrive soon.
Ide Tetsuzō and Japanese Military and Economic Aid to Nepal
As early as 1902, the Rana government expressed interest in pursuing closer relations with Japan. In that year, Chandra Shumsher Rana sent a group of eight Nepalese students to study in universities and technical institutions in Japan, particularly in the areas of industry and military science. Such exchanges were permitted by the Anglo-Japanese Alliance and were mediated by the British embassy in Tokyo. However, the British authorities were also wary of the possibility of Nepal becoming a sanctuary for Indian revolutionaries who might benefit from such overseas connections. These fears were confirmed when Vasudev Ganesh Joshi and K.P. Khadilkar, both associates of the Indian nationalist Bal Gangadhar Tilak, attempted to covertly establish a weapons factory in Nepal. It was none other than Vasudev Joshi himself who convinced Chandra Shumsher Rana to send the students to Japan. The plot, which required weapons manufacturing machinery from Germany, failed to materialize. Nevertheless, this incident alarmed British officials in Delhi and Kathmandu. Future interactions with Japanese visitors were carefully observed by the Resident and, after 1923, the British Ambassador.
One of these visitors was Colonel Ide Tetsuzō. From 1931 to 1933, Ide served as the military attaché to British India. During this time, Ide traveled to Afghanistan and Nepal meeting with various political and military leaders. Writing about his travels in the Dai Aijiashugi, Ide took a particular interest in Nepal. Like Byodo Tsushō, Ide also drew comparisons with the Tokugawa past regarding Nepal’s isolation, yet also emphasized racial and cultural similarities between Nepal and Japan. Ide wrote that unlike Afghanistan, Nepal was more prosperous, and that Kathmandu had all the trappings of a modern city. According to Ide, this reflected a relative openness towards modern culture (kindai bunka, 近代文化) while simultaneously holding onto tradition, a position that Japan also embodied in its transition from the Tokugawa to Meiji period. In addition to the similarities in physical appearance between Nepalese and Japanese, Ide also observed that Nepalese shared common martial tendencies (shobu no kiun, 尚武の気運). Ide was particularly impressed by the sight of Nepalese men carrying short swords girded around their waists just as the samurai had done in Japan centuries before. It was based on these common features that Ide believed the Nepalese could understand Japan and think of the Japanese as brothers.
Despite Britain’s formal recognition of Nepal’s independence, it was apparent to Ide that this did not reflect reality. For all the pomp and ceremony present at the Nepalese court during official audiences, and the deference and respect shown by the British Ambassador to the Ranas, it was painfully evident according to Ide that Nepal was still a British vassal state (eikoku no zokkoku, 英国の属国). When Juddha Shumsher met with Ide, he took the opportunity to ask about the feasibility of importing aeroplanes from Japan to create an air force. According to Ide, Nepal’s military equipment came partly from British surplus and partly from what it could purchase from Tibet. However, the Nepalese Army lacked air power. Ide hoped to meet this need and extend Japan’s economic and military influence in Nepal by suggesting to Juddha Shumsher that Japanese aircraft would be ideal for high-altitude flying and more cost-efficient than purchasing from Europe. Shortly after Ide’s visit, Juddha Shumsher’s private secretary, Marichi Mansingh Bada Kaji, wrote to the Japanese consul in Simla to probe further. The inquires made by Bada Kaji reveal that Ide promised more to the Rana government than what he revealed in his account to the Dai Ajiashugi. Not only did Ide suggest that Nepal could purchase transport aircraft from Japan that could be converted into bombers, presumably to be deployed against Tibet in the event of border skirmishes, he also suggested that Japan could supply machinery for a smokeless ammunition factory. Bada Kaji also inquired about the expenses required to hire an experienced Japanese pilot and ground engineer to help train Nepalese recruits.
However, not only was this plan to secure military aid from Japan beyond the Rana government’s budget, but it also went against an existing treaty signed between Britain and Nepal in 1923 on the issue of arms and ammunition imports. According to the treaty, Article 4 prefaced the provisions regulating arms imports into Nepal by stating a general principle that Britain and Nepal would, “use all such measures as it may deem practicable to prevent its territories being used for purposes inimical to the security of the other.” This was followed by Article 5 which stated that Nepal could import whatever arms, machinery, and war materiel it required either from or through British India provided that, “the British Government is satisfied that the intentions of the Nepal Government are friendly and that there is no immediate danger to India from such importations.” Considering that the treaty was signed as the Anglo-Japanese Alliance was collapsing and amid growing British suspicions of Japanese intentions to challenge the imperial status quo in Asia, Britain was wary of any indicators that Nepal might gravitate towards Japan. The British Legation in Kathmandu kept a close watch on Japanese employed by the Ranas, and a 1937 report expressed alarm when it learned that the Japanese consul-general in Delhi was approached with the suggestion that Juddha Shumsher should be awarded a Japanese decoration as a precursor to establishing formal diplomatic relations. Although the report contained assurances that Nepal would not, “do anything which could conceivably disturb the existing relations with His Majesty’s government,” the response of the British Legation to the possibility of Nepal and Japan developing closer ties was telling. A Japanese-trained air force on the borders of British India would be certainly out of the question!
Even without military aid, Japan’s commercial investments in Nepal during the 1930s were significant. The British Legation noted that nearly 70% of Nepal’s imports came from Japan, primarily textile goods. Since Britain could not interfere with the import of manufactured goods into Nepal that did not constitute a security threat to Delhi, Nepal was able to circumvent legislation that aimed to restrict Japanese textile products in British India. Not only was this concerning for the British Indian government, who believed that Japanese textile merchants would be able to take advantage of the situation and use Nepal as a base to sell their goods in India, the British Legation in Kathmandu also reported that Juddha Shumsher attempted to enlist Japanese assistance in developing an indigenous Nepalese textile industry that could compete against Britain and simultaneously reduce its dependency on Japanese goods. In 1937, at an industrial exhibition in Kathmandu, he declared his intention to hire Japanese specialists in textile manufacturing and agriculture and send a group of Nepalese students to Japan for further training. The latter field of study was particularly important as Nepal was heavily dependent on raw materials from India to make yarn, which the British Indian government could deprive Nepal from obtaining to protect Indian manufacturers. The Rana government deemed that the plan to hire Japanese experts would be too expensive and settled on sending a group of Nepalese students to spend a year in Calcutta studying Japanese before proceeding to Japan for their education. Although even this plan was shelved with the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), as late as 1939 Juddha Shumsher was still considering sending Nepalese students to Japan to help strengthen Nepal’s industrial development.
Tatsuo Fukai and the Limits of Pan-Asian Diplomacy
In January 1939, the Japanese vice-consul in Delhi, Tatsuo Fukai, travelled to Nepal to meet with members of the Rana government. During his two-week stay in Nepal, Fukai wrote a series of letters to his wife detailing his travels and experiences in the country. In addition to the racial and religious commonalities that previous Japanese travellers emphasized between Japan and Nepal, Fukai was also awestruck by Nepal’s architectural splendor. When he arrived in the town of Bhatgoan, he noted with amazement that the Nyatpola Deval temple built in the 18th century greatly resembled the Horyuji pagoda in Nara. Fukai’s impressions of Kathmandu are particularly telling of the ways that Japanese travellers to Nepal interpreted its history in manner that aligned with Pan-Asianist goals:
The Darbar Square is the heart of Kathmandu from where picturesque streets radiate in all directions. Artistic pagoda roofs, profuse carved wood-work, picturesque wayfarers with bright and fascinating dresses of all shades of colour all combine to give the Darbar Square a very attractive and indeed Japanese or Chinese appearance. What strikes me in Kathmandu is the absence of everything Indian. You may not understand what I mean, but for racial, political, economic, and other reasons which I have no freedom to disclose, it is perhaps inevitable that there is little lost between Nepal and India!
The Second Sino-Japanese War had been raging for over a year and a half. Japan was looking for diplomatic allies in a region that was becoming increasingly wary of its expansionist ambitions. Fukai emphasized racial, cultural, and even architectural similarities between Japan and Nepal to paint a picture of a country that would be sympathetic and favourably inclined to support Japanese interests in Asia. This was something that he also consistently pointed out in his conversations with members of the Rana government. Although Fukai was not able to meet with Juddha Shumsher himself, he met with three leading Ranas: Padma Shumsher, Commander-in-Chief of the Nepalese Army, and commanding generals Kaiser Shumsher and Baber Shumsher. Fukai expressed high admiration for the Ranas that he met and hoped that they might be potential allies in cultivating closer relations between Nepal and Japan.
When the Second World War broke out in Europe, Juddha Shumsher pledged his support for the Allied war effort. However, this decision was far from unanimously favoured within the Rana family. A British Legation report expressed alarm at the overwhelming pessimism within the Nepalese military towards Britain’s ability to protect its Empire against German or Japanese invasion. Padma Shumsher and Baber Shumsher both believed that India would invariably fall to either Japan or the Soviet Union should Germany force Britain to surrender. But while Padma Shumsher and Baber Shumsher’s predictions were motivated less by pro-Axis sympathies and more by British failures on the battlefield and the poor state of the British Indian Army, Kaiser Shumsher was an admirer of German and Japanese military strength. Fukai brought with him several films about Japan and recounted that after he screened them at the Royal Palace, Kaiser Shumsher had this to say:
It was not only interesting but very instructive. I was impressed by the similarity between our two races. You also take off shoes at the door, and a Japanese wife gives a graceful salute to her husband when he returns home […]. I must admit Japanese soldiers are far better than Gurkha soldiers. But why didn’t you bring films of war? Frankly speaking, we are more interested in warfare and the activities of your brave soldiers more than anything else.
Fukai was astonished. He specifically decided not to bring films depicting Japanese military exploits for fear that he would be seen as a propagandist. The next day, Kaiser Shumsher invited Fukai for a private audience. Kaiser Shumsher was an avid reader and had a vast library that greatly impressed Fukai. The general then revealed to Fukai that he kept a portrait of the Meiji Emperor that he ordered from London and had befriended Prince Chichibu (Yasuhito), the Emperor Hirohito’s younger brother, when he attended King George VI’s coronation in 1937. Fukai then saw an opportunity to ask Kaiser Shumsher about the true state of Nepal’s relationship with Britain and if he would be willing to give a statement on Japan’s war in China. At this point however, the conversation took a deflective and somewhat philosophical turn. In response to Fukai, Kaiser Shumsher stated that:
I prefer to be silent. Silence may be our message. I only hope that a peaceful solution will soon be found to the present tragic war between two great sister nations of Asia. No matter how silently and bravely you may bear sacrifices, war means that all human happiness ceases.
What do these episodes reveal about the relationship between Japan and Nepal during the 1930s? Indeed, Japan’s interaction with Nepal reveals both the possibilities and contradictions of Pan-Asian diplomacy. Japan attempted to leverage its position in Asia amid tensions with China and Britain by appealing to countries like Nepal, who were formally independent of European rule and yet under pressure to remain within Britain’s sphere of influence, on the basis of anti-colonial solidarity. As the cases of Byodo Tsushō and Colonel Ide demonstrate, such invocations of cultural and historical similarities often went hand-in-hand with attempts to advocate for Japanese interests in the form of extending economic and military aid. However, Byodo Tsushō’s account betrays the imperial assumptions behind Japan’s Pan-Asianist rhetoric. Nepal could only be recognized as an ally insofar as it embodied the Japanese “spirit” and could be placed on a timeline of historical development that upheld Japan as the pinnacle of modernity.
On the other hand, while the Ranas were more than willing to avail themselves of Japanese technical and military expertise to strengthen Nepal and gain leverage over its neighbours, they also kept Japan at arm’s length. Although Japanese travelers to Nepal were perhaps too optimistic about the possibilities of cultivating an ally in the Himalayas, the Ranas played a delicate balancing act considering that as a landlocked country Nepal was entirely dependent on ports in British India. This partly explains the silence of Kaiser Shumsher when asked about the Second Sino-Japanese War. Moreover, both British restrictions on the export of raw materials and the influx of cheap Japanese manufactured goods worked in tandem to stifle the development on an indigenous Nepalese industry. The industrialization attempts of Juddha Shumsher were not only an attempt to compete with British India, but also to prevent Japanese products from flooding the Nepalese market at the expense of local merchants and manufacturers. While Japanese assistance would be welcome, it could never be allowed to challenge Nepal’s ambitions towards economic self-sufficiency to complement its formal independence.
Richard M. Jaffe: Seeking Sakyamuni: South Asia in the Formation of Modern Japanese Buddhism, Chicago 2019.
Hisao Kimura, Scott Berry (eds.): Japanese Agent in Tibet: My Ten Years of Travel in Disguise, London 1990.
Ram Kumar Pandey: Nepal-Japan Relations: Ties of Hands and Hearts, Kathmandu 2006.
Stefan Tanaka: Japan’s Orient: Rendering Pasts into History, Berkeley 1995.
John Whelpton: A History of Nepal, Cambridge 2003.
 Byodo Tsushō: Neparu no kinjo ネパールの近状 [The Current Situation in Nepal], in: Dai Ajiashugi 25 (March 1935), pp. 21–24, quote p. 21.
 See Richard M. Jaffe: Seeking Sakyamuni: South Asia in the Formation of Modern Japanese Buddhism, Chicago 2019.
 For a good introductory history of Nepal, see John Whelpton: A History of Nepal, Cambridge 2003.
 See for example Ronald Toby: State and Diplomacy in Early Modern Japan: Asia in the Development of the Tokugawa Bakufu, Princeton 1984.
 See Harry Harootunian: Towards Restoration: The Growth of Political Consciousness in Tokugawa Japan, Berkeley 1970 and Fukuzawa Yukichi: Datsu-A Ron 脱亜論 [Leaving Asia], in: Jiji Shimpo (March 16, 1885), pp. 40–42.
 Byodo: The Current Situation in Nepal, pp. 21–22.
 See chapters five and six of Baburam Acharya: The Bloodstained Throne: Struggles for Power in Nepal, 1755–1914, New Delhi 2013.
 Whelpton: A History of Nepal, pp. 46–49. See also Sagar S.J.B. Rana: Singha Durbar: Rise and Fall of the Rana Regime in Nepal, New Delhi 2017, pp. 26–36.
 See chapter 3 of Whelpton: A History of Nepal.
 Whelpton: A History of Nepal, p. 79.
 Byodo: The Current Situation in Nepal, pp. 22–24.
 Nepali Students in Japan – A Century Ago (1902 Meiji 35 Era), in: Embassy of Japan in Nepal, 22 March 2021, URL: <https://www.np.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_ja/11_000001_00415.html> (Accessed August 2, 2023).
 Stanley Wolpert: Tilak and Gokhale: Revolution and Reform in the Making of Modern India, Berkeley 1961, p. 149.
 Ide Tetsuzō: Afugan, Neparu shisatsu ki アフガン、ネパール視察記 [Observations on Afghanistan and Nepal], in: Dai Ajiashugi 11 (March 1934), pp. 38–41, quote p. 40.
 Ide Tetsuzō: Afugan, Neparu jijō アフガン、ネパール事情 [The Situation in Afghanistan and Nepal], in: Dai Ajiashugi 13 (May 1934), pp. 33–36, quote p. 35.
 JACAR (Japan Center for Asian Historical Records), National Institute for Defense Studies: C01004095800: Nepāru-koku ni taishi heiki kyōkyū hō ni kansuru ken ネパール国に対し兵器供給方に関する件 [Concerning the supply of weapons to Nepal]: Letter from Marichi Mansingh Bada Kaji, Private Secretary to H.H The Maharaja, Nepal to the Consul General for Japan, Summer Hill House, Simla, British India, (September 13, 1934), pp. 1–5.
 JACAR (Japan Center for Asian Historical Records), Ministry of Foreign Affairs Diplomatic Archives: B04013510200: Buki dan’yaku no `neparu’ yunyū ni-seki suru Igirisu `neparu’ kyōtei 武器弾薬ノ「ネパル」輸入ニ関スル英国「ネパル」協定 [Agreement between Britain and Nepal on the importation of arms and ammunition to Nepal] Treaty between the United Kingdom and Nepal, together with Note respecting the Importation of Arms and Ammunition into Nepal, (December 21, 1923), pp. 2–3.
 The National Archives, UK: FO 371/22175: Annual Report on Nepal (1937), pp. 3–4.
 The National Archives, UK: FO 371/23547: Annual Report on Nepal (1938), pp. 5–6.
 The National Archives, UK: FO 371/22175: Annual Report on Nepal (1937), p. 3.
 The National Archives: FO 371/24715: Annual Report on Nepal (1939), p. 10.
 Tatsuo Fukai: Letters from Nepal, in: New Asia (January 1939), pp. 4–21, quote p. 16.
 Fukai: Letters from Nepal, p. 8.
 Fukai: Letters from Nepal, p. 20.
 The National Archives, UK: FO 371/24712: Political Department, India Office, British Legation in Nepal, Despatch No. 41 (July 9, 1940), pp. 4–7.
 Fukai: Letters from Nepal, pp. 17–20.
Aaron Peters is a Lecturer at Ambrose University located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. His PhD dissertation (University of Toronto, 2022) entitled, “A Complicated Alliance: Indo-Japanese Relations, 1915-1952” brings together postcolonial theory and critical studies on the Japanese and British Empires to interrogate the interconnections between imperialism, nationalism, and internationalism by highlighting the encounters and exchanges between Japan and South Asia during the first half of the 20th century. His research interests range from Pan-Asianism and the Japanese Empire, Indian diasporic nationalisms, and the role of technology and foreign aid in the expansion of empire during the prewar and postwar periods in the Asia-Pacific region.