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Since MeijiPerspectives on the Japanese Visual Arts, 1868-2000$
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J. Thomas Rimer

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824834418

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824834418.001.0001

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Sensō Sakusen Kirokuga

Sensō Sakusen Kirokuga

Seeing Japan’s War Documentary Painting as a Public Monument

(p.99) 4 Sensō Sakusen Kirokuga
Since Meiji

Mayu Tsuruya

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines sensō sakusen kirokuga, or war campaign documentary painting, a genre of painting that emerged as state-sponsored public art during the second Sino-Japanese War and the Pacific War between 1937 and 1945. It first provides a background on how war documentary painting as a genre was born before discussing the ways in which official war documentary paintings are displayed, including military art exhibitions. It then considers developments that were important in the creative transition yōga painters made as part of the evolution of war documentary painting as public art, focusing on panorama painting, kaijō geijutsu (exhibition hall art), mural painting, and proletarian art. It also describes the Meiji Picture Gallery, along with war propaganda painting and the ideal of “self-effacement.” The chapter argues that war painting evolved from Japanese art of preceding periods in an environment where the importance of the general public had grown rapidly for both art production and the politics of war.

Keywords:   sensō sakusen kirokuga, public art, war painting, yōga, panorama painting, mural painting, proletarian art, Meiji Picture Gallery, war propaganda, self-effacement

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