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Damin cover image, May 1940

This is the cover image of the magazine Damin 3.3 (May 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.

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Huanan huabao (South China Graphic) cover, January 1941

This cover image is taken from Huanan huabao (South China graphic) 3.1 (January 1941). The staged photograph deploys one of the standard tropes of Japanese propaganda in occupied China, i.e., that of a Japanese woman and Chinese woman fraternising with each other. This trope was derived from Manchukuo propaganda and the notion of “gozoku kyōwa” (“the harmony of the five races”), as well as attempts to feminise the image of an occupied China. Note how the Japanese woman is pictured as being slightly higher than her Chinese peer.

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Rural Pacification cadre making a speech

Photograph of a member of the RNG Central Propaganda Group’s Number 2 Rural Pacification Propaganda Team as he addresses a rural audience. The photograph was possibly produced by the RNG’s Central News Agency, which increased its capacity for photography in 1942 to compete with the propaganda work of Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists in Chongqing.

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Huanan huabao (South China Graphic) inside cover, January 1941

This image is taken from Huanan huabao (South China graphic) 3.1 (January 1941). The illustration deploys one of the standard tropes of Japanese propaganda in occupied China, i.e., that of a Japanese woman and Chinese woman fraternising with each other. This trope was derived from Manchukuo propaganda and the notion of “gozoku kyōwa” (“the harmony of the five races”), as well as attempts to feminise the image of an occupied China. Note how the Japanese woman is pictured as being slightly higher than her Chinese peer.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Celebratory ceremony marking the second anniversary of Guangdong’s ‘rebirth’

This series of photographs is taken from Huanan huabao (South China graphic) 2.6 (1940), and shows celebrations to mark the second anniversary of what the Japanese referred to as the “rebirth” of Guangzhou (i.e., the fall of Guangzhou) in October 1938. Note the prominence given to the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, as well as the use of “folk” forms of cultural expression.

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