Art and War in Modern Japan

If you teach Modern Japan you are probably used to having lots of cool pictures to show your students. You probably pinch a lot of them from the MIT Visualizing Cultures site. A new book that you should be aware of is.

Hu, Philip, Rhiannon Paget, Sebastian Dobson, Maki Kaneko, and Andreas Marks. Conflicts of Interest: Art and War in Modern Japan. Saint Louis: University of Washington Press, 2016.

This is based on the impressive collection of Japanese war-related prints, board games, clothing etc at the St. Louis Museum of Art. There was apparently an exhibition, but I missed it at the time. They have nice pictures of images you have probably seen before, but also lots of stuff I have not seen before.

Rowdy Satsuma women disturbing the peace in 1877. (All of these have great descriptions to explain the context.)

The Battle of the Yalu, looking a bit less glorious than it does in many prints

Taiwanese rebels

The girl he left behind (from the cover of a novel)

¬†Fukuchi Gen’ichiro as a war corespondent
In addition to prints they also have other forms of patriotic propaganda. You may tell your students about the cult of the three human bombs, who bravely sacrificed their lives for Japan, but do you have a Kirin beer three human bombs ad to show them?

There are also some good essays on how war fits into modern Japanese visual culture.

There is a lot more in there. This book makes a great gift for the Japan person in your life. I assume you can get it from the museum shop, but is is also available on a well-known South American website.

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