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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
Event Series
April 25, 2024

Hybrid Study Group on Japanese photography in Manchuria

From 1932 to 1945, professional Japanese photographers, civilians, and soldiers took many pictures in Manchuria and North China. After the official commencement of the war with China in 1937 they began to contribute to the ‘National Reportage Movement’. Japanese authorities employed photographic propaganda to justify the Japanese government’s and Imperial Army’s activities on the continent. However, Japanese soldiers and civilians also used the camera to document and produce memories of their daily lives and experiences in China. This talk aims to bring forward new perspectives on photographic practices and on visually over- or underrepresented aspects of the Japanese occupation of Manchuria and North China. It introduces examples of private photo albums by soldiers stationed in Manchuria and discusses their creation as  processes of selecting and ordering images. Drawing on visual anthropology and media history, the presentation will show connections between “imperial” and “patriotic” photography, and between vernacular and formal photographic repertoires. Details and registration here

Jasmin Rückert, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf/DIJ Tokyo