Rare Japanese Propaganda Magazines Added to ICP Collection

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Shashin Shuho, March 5, 1941 (2014.38.1)

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Shashin Shuho, July 9, 1942 (2014.38.15)
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Shashin Shuho, June 18, 1941, p. 2 (2014.38.2)
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Shashin Shuho, January 21, 1942, p. 4 (2014.38.15)
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Shashin Shuho, August 6, 1941 (2014.38.4)

Among the holdings of the collection of the International Center of Photography is an   important archive of photo-illustrated periodicals from the 1930s and 1940s. These weekly news magazines—many of which are now quite rare–chronicle the rise of photojournalism and photomontage and include such pioneering efforts as USSR in Construction (Russia), Life (US), AIZ (Germany), Vu (France), Estampa (Spain), and Picture Post (England). Recently, we acquired a run of 36 early issues of Shashin Shuho (Photo Weekly), an important World War II-era Japanese propaganda organ published by the government’s Naikaku Johobu (Cabinet Information Division) between 1937 and 1945. The goal of this well-designed and widely distributed publication was to encourage nationalist sentiments as Japan engaged in wars with China and the Allies. While the subject matter of Shashin Shuho ranges from features on a local swim team to dramatic celebrations of Japan’s growing military prowess, the photographs and layouts (mostly by unidentified artists) are always visually arresting. Throughout the war, Shashin Shuho maintained its upbeat patriotic message. Then, in July 1945, just before the bombing of Hiroshima and the end of the war, Shashin Shuho abruptly stopped publishing. These rare publications, many of which were destroyed during World War II, represent an important record of highly effective journalistic propaganda created using the most advanced standards of mid-twentieth-century photojournalism and graphic design.

Chief Curator Brian Wallis

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Shashin Shuho, January 21, 1942 (2014.38.15)

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About claartjevandijk

Assistant Curator, Collections at the International Center of Photography, New York
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