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Fengyang guniang (Maidens of Fengyang)

This woodcut, by an artist called Fang Wenxing, was reproduced in Zhonghua huabao (Chinese Pictorial) 1.4 (November 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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Ertong zuopin (works by children), II

This is a selection of images (most being pencil drawings) contributed to the magazine Ertong huakan (Children’s Pictorial) 9.10 (April 1941) by readers. The images offer a fascinating insight into the ways in which official ideas about the appearance of occupied China were reflected in the artwork of Chinese school children living in the RNG capital. Note the references to dawn, for example, the depictions of Japanese people, and the idyllic images of the Chinese countryside included in some of the drawings. Basketball remained a politically acceptable sport in occupied Nanjing despite its American provenance.

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Girls are all living in a dormitory [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: “They are doing their ‘home works’ [sic]”.

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A chorus group [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.

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Ertong zuopin (works by children), I

This is a selection of images (most being pencil drawings) contributed to the magazine Ertong huakan (Children’s Pictorial) 9.10 (April 1941) by readers. The images offer a fascinating insight into the ways in which official ideas about perceived notions of student behaviour in occupied China were reflected in the artwork of Chinese school children living in the RNG capital. Two of the drawings in this selection, for example, relate to the hardships of studying (in difficult weather, poor light, etc), while one depicts children playing in a classroom.

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Yaodi shengmiao jidian (Ceremony at the Emperor Yao Temple)

This poster was produced (almost certainly by the Japanese military) with the aim of advertising the re-opening of the Emperor Yao Temple (Yaodi shengmiao) in Linfen (Shanxi Province). This site was taken by the Japanese from communist resistance fighters, and was used by the Japanese as a symbol of the apparent iconoclasm and lack of religious sensitivity shown by the communists. The re-opening the temple to worshippers in the spring of 1938 by the Japanese was used to demonstrate the extent to which occupation supposedly included respect for Chinese religious traditions. The painted image of the female worshipper here was based on a photograph of a female worshipper at the same temple produced in other propaganda leaflets some months earlier.

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Qiantu wuliang (An immeasurable future)

Cover of a magazine which was published in Nanjing for children themselves during the Japanese occupation. The artist who created this image is not named. Publication details are: Ertong huakan (Children’s Pictorial) 9.10 (April 1941): cover image

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Two girls picked flowers for the dinner table [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: “Two girls picked flowers for the dinner table [sic]”.

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Weixin zhengfu zhixia zhi minzhong shenghuo (The life of the masses under the Reformed Government)

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 life under the rule of the Reformed Government (Weixin zhengfu), or RGROC, which was a “client regime” established in 1938. The RGROC was eventually amalgamated with Wang Jingwei’s RNG in March 1940. The top image is entitled “xian’ge bu chuo” (“studying never stops, even in times of strife”); the middle image is entitled “qiu shou fengdeng” (gathering the autumn harvest); the image at the bottom of the page is entitled “fuxing jianzhu” (renovating buildings). All three are typical images of the sort that the Daminhui promoted in the period between 1938 and 1940, but also display a clear influence from Manchukuo propaganda photography from earlier in the 1930s.

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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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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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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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