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Item

Danish gymnastic [sic]

From a collection of staged photographs produced under the title “Life at a Girls School in Peking”, and produced at the Peking Jiyu Gakuen in Japanese-occupied Beijing. The original caption reads: “Some graduate of the Jiyu Gakuen were sent to Danmark [sic] in order to study the gymnastics, and now the Chinese girls are given the new type of physical training in China [sic]”. “Danish gymnastics” was a form of mass athletic exercise popular in Europe in the inter-war period.

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Item

Furen xiang (Portrait of a woman)

This woodcut, by an artist called Ma Wu (probably the most prolific of Chinese popular artists openly active during the Japanese occupation), was reproduced in Zhonghua huabao (Chinese Pictorial) 2.2 (March 1943). The importance of the muke (woodcut) form to artistic practice in occupied China has been almost entirely overlooked in the literature. The muke form has hitherto been associated with the art of resistance in China, despite being an important part of “occupation” visual cultures as well.

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An di Dongjing; li dashiguan (Arriving safely in Tokyo; visiting the embassy)

This photomontage is taken from Huang Qingshu (ed), Wang zhuxi fang Ri jinian huakan (Special pictorial in commemoration of Chairman Wang’s visit to Japan) (Nanjing: Xuanchuanbu, 1941). It includes images of Wang Jingwei arriving in Tokyo during his 1941 visit to Japan, and specifically his visit to the RNG embassy in Tokyo.

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Item

Rural Pacification cadres rousing peasants

Photograph of members of the RNG Central Propaganda Group’s Number 2 Rural Pacification Propaganda Team leading a rural audience in the shouting of slogans. The photograph was possibly produced by the RNG’s Central News Agency. Note the watchtower in the background flying the Nationalist Chinese flag, suggesting this photograph was taken in a “pacified village”.

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Case Study

Japanese-occupied China(1937-1945)

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Item

Writing letters to their parents

From a collection of staged photographs produced under the title “Life at a Girls School in Peking”, and produced at the Peking Jiyu Gakuen in Japanese-occupied Beijing. The original caption reads: “Writing letters to their parents describing their happy days at school”.

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Item

Qingxiang biaoli guan (Within and beyond Rural Pacification)

In this artistic representation of a village which has undergone Rural Pacification, peasants are shown going about their business within the walls of a “pacified” village. Outside the village walls, resistance fighters starve to death and inflict violence upon local residents. The image is taken from the periodical Zhongguo manhua (Chinese Cartoons) 2.1 (October 1942). This was the house magazine of the Chinese Cartoon Associations (Zhongguo Manhua Xiehui).

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Xin Zhonghua huabao (New China Pictorial) cover, December 1943

This cover image from the Xin Zhonghua huabao (New China Pictorial) 5.12 (December 1943) shows a colourised photograph of an unidentified “modern girl”. The New China Pictorial was a bilingual (Chinese-English) magazine published from 1939 through 1944 in Shanghai by the occupation journalist Wu Linzhi for distribution in China and throughout Southeast Asia.

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Essay

The Daminhui: A propaganda agency in occupied China

Unattributed and untitled image of two Chinese children (one wearing an armband with the Daminhui logo in it) from a 1940 Daminhui propaganda publication. The Daminhui (lit., “Great People’s Association”) was organised by the Japanese special service in Shanghai in 1938,[1] but was officially directed by the veteran Kuomintang member Wen Zongyao in Japanese-occupied east and central China.[2] It has been described as the “flagship enterprise of the Reformed Government [of the ROC].”[3] The Daminhui was responsible for a variety of propaganda work, and learnt its skills directly from propaganda organisations in north China, especially the Xinminhui. Within the Daminhui’s Propaganda Department worked Chinese graphic artists, journalists, dramatists, and activists. The Daminhui made a particular name for itself in mobilizing local communities for pro-occupation celebrations.[4] The cover of the Daminhui house publication Xin Zhongguo (New China) Much of the propaganda work undertaken by the Daminhui (and reproduced in its house pictorials like New China) looked remarkably similar to the “salvationist” (jiuguo) propaganda that had been developed by the Chinese resistance in Wuhan in 1938.[5] This was because a number of the Daminhui’s affiliated agencies were specifically designed to emulate what the Japanese saw as effective methods of persuasion developed by the Chinese resistance early in the war. Nonetheless, the Daminhui developed its own “brand.” It operated under a logo comprised of a five-pointed star and a crescent moon. The influence of the Daminhui would continue to be felt in occupied east China through until 1945, as many of its members joined the ranks of Wang Jingwei’s government at its formation in 1940.   Revellers at the founding of Wang Jingwei’s Reorganised National Government in March 1940 wave the Daminhui flag.   [1] T’ien-wei Wu, “Contending political forces during the War of Resistance,” in China’s Bitter Victory: The War with Japan, 1937-1945, eds., James C. Hsiung and Steven I. Levine (Armonk, NY: East Gate, 1992) , 66–67. [2] Wen Zongyao, “Daminhui Wen huizhang gao minzhong shu” [Letter from Director Wen of the Daminhui to the people], Xin Zhongguo 2, no. 11–12 (December 1939): 2–3. [3] Timothy Brook, “Occupation state building,” in China at War: Regions of China, 1937–1945, eds. Stephen R. MacKinnon, Diana Lary and Ezra F. Vogel (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2007), 35. [4] Liu Jie, “Kangzhan chuqi Huadong lunxianqu qin-Ri qunti yanjiu: yi Daminhui Zhenjiang lianhe zhibu wei zhongxin de tantao” [A study of pro-Japanese groups in occupied areas of east China in the early stages of the War of Resistance: A discussion of the Daminhui’s branch office in Zhenjiang], Zhongyang yanjiuyuan jindaishi yanjiusuo jikan 98 (2017): 89–114. [5] As detailed in Stephen R. MacKinnon, War, Refugees, and the Making of Modern China: Wuhan, 1938 (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2008).

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Xin Zhonghua huabao (New China Pictorial) cover, September 1942

This cover image from the New China Pictorial 4.9 (September 1942) shows an unnamed member of the Chinese collaborationist forces in the outfit of a kendoka. There is little to identify this image (almost certainly created by the news agency Dōmei, as it was used as the cover image for the Japanese-language Dōmei Graph in October 1942) as being of a Chinese man, other than the inclusion of the Nationalist Chinese (white sun) insignia on his cap. The same image was used in later propaganda celebrating the collaborationist government’s declaration of war on the Allies. This was the only cover image from this magazine which included a male figure. The New China Pictorial was a bilingual (Chinese-English) published from 1939 through 1944 in Shanghai by the occupation journalist Wu Linzhi for distribution in China and throughout Southeast Asia.

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Item

A young Japanese teacher is instructing in Japanese

From a collection of staged photographs produced under the title “Life at a Girls School in Peking”, and produced at the Peking Jiyu Gakuen in Japanese-occupied Beijing. The original caption reads: “This instructor is not very much older than 20 years old [sic]”.

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