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Zhong-Ri qinshan, tianzhen lanman (Sino-Japanese amity, innocent and unaffected)

This series of unattributed photographs is taken from the Daminhui publication Xin Zhongguo (New China) 3.1 (January 1940). They are used here to present scenes of “Sino-Japanese friendship”. In the top two images, Chinese and Japanese children greet each other and waves the flag of Japan and of the Reformed Government of the Republic of China (RGROC). In the image at the bottom of the page, some unnamed performers do an “autumn dance” (qiu wu) entitled “Xing Ya de shuguang” (The light of a revitalized Asia).

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Drill training in Beijing

A group of Chinese male and female police officers attached to the North China Railway Company  undergo drill training in Japanese-occupied north China. The city gate behind the group is the Xuanwumen.

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H. E. Mr Wang Ching-wei

This supplement was published by the Ministry of Publicity (Xuanchuanbu) on the very day that Wang Jingwei officially “returned” to Nanjing to take up the reins of government under Japanese occupation. The symbols attached to this image (e.g., the KMT “white sun” ensign, and the colours of the ROC flag) suggest a “return” to pre-war norms. The presence of the Japanese is not so much as mentioned here.

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Xin Zhonghua huabao (New China Pictorial) cover, March 1944

This cover image from the Xin Zhonghua huabao (New China Pictorial) 6.3 (March 1944) shows a colourised photograph of Wang Danfeng. Wang was a popular film celebrity in wartime Shanghai. 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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Wang Jingwei with Zang Shiyi

Zang Shiyi (right), the Manchukuo ambassador to the RNG, speaks to Wang Jingwei prior to the both men signing the Japan-Manchukuo-China Joint Declaration on 30 November 1940, through which RNG China recognised Manchukuo. The Declaration was attached to the Sino-Japanese Basic Treaty, through which Japan formally recognised the RNG. Both documents were signed within the main RNG government compound in Nanjing.

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Chu Minyi in his office

In this staged photograph, the RNG foreign minister Chu Minyi is pictured reading a magazine in his office, with a photographic portrait of Wang Jingwei on the wall behind his desk, and Buddhist objets d’art in a cabinet behind him.

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Japanese language is exclusively used in the classroom

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:  “Japanese language is exclusively used in the classroom”.

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“Great housewife” with the school bell [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: “The girls have to bring the bell in turn every day with the title of ‘great housewife’. Chinese girls have no conception of TIME but they know morning, noon and evening. Teaching the idea of time is the first fundamental step towards a better education [sic]”.

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Washing hour

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: “Evidently the girls are enjoying a ‘new domestic arts’ [sic]”.

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Zong fenqi (Uprising)

This woodcut, by an artist called Tie Ying (lit. “iron eagle”), was reproduced in Zhonghua huabao (Chinese Pictorial) 2.2 (March 1944). 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. In this case, the image of Chinese men, dressed in their “New Citizens Uniforms” (Xin guomin zhifu) and waving the ROC flag as they run into battle against enemies unseen, looks almost identical to early wartime resistance muke.

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Xin Zhongguo (New China) cover, January 1940

This is the cover image of the magazine Xin Zhongguo (New China) 3.1 (January 1940), published by the Daminhui (Great People’s Association) in Nanjing. The Daminhui was a propaganda and mobilization organization established by the Japanese in 1938, which was later folded into Wang Jingwei’s Kuomintang (Nationalist Party). The Daminhui specialised in public expressions of support for the occupation, and employed a staff of Chinese organisers, artists, and writers. The sun-and-moon logo of the Daminhui can be seen on this magazine’s cover. The untitled woodcut image of the dragon is unattributed. It is included here to coincide with the New Year (which this issue of Xin Zhongguo celebrates). Significantly, text on the magazine’s cover suggests that this copy of New China was once owned by investigations department of the Japanese-language, China-based newspaper, the Tairiku Shinpō.

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

This cover from the Xin Zhonghua huabao (New China Pictorial) 4.12 (December 1942) features an image of Li Lihua. Li was one of the most popular film celebrities in wartime Shanghai, and was favoured by the occupation regime in pro-government media. 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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