Event Title

"An Island Reborn": Imagery of Japan in Mid-twentieth Century American Magazines

Location

King Building 239

Start Date

4-27-2018 5:30 PM

End Date

4-27-2018 6:50 PM

Abtract

My research takes a look at post-World War II mid-century American magazine visual representations of Japan. By looking at imagery--advertisements, illustrations, photographs--in periodicals like Life and National Geographic, I map out the complicated political and cultural relationship between Japan and the U.S. At the close of the American Occupation of Japan in 1952, Japan was a sovereign country, a World War II menace, and much needed Cold War friend of the United States. In order to rebrand the Japanese as a harmless American ally, American magazine print media imagery and advertising depict an idealized representation of the Japanese and America’s relationship with the Japanese. Essentially, this research, an in depth visual analysis of 1950s magazine pictures, seeks to understand how a new image of Japan was sold to a fearful American public.

Keywords:

Japan, America, 1950s, imagery, photographs, advertising, history, politics, World War II

Notes

Session VII, Panel 20 - Postwar | Asia
Moderator: Renee Romano, Professor and Chair of History, Professor of Comparative American Studies and Africana Studies

Major

History

Advisor(s)

Leonard Smith, History

Project Mentor(s)

Leonard Smith, History

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Apr 27th, 5:30 PM Apr 27th, 6:50 PM

"An Island Reborn": Imagery of Japan in Mid-twentieth Century American Magazines

King Building 239

My research takes a look at post-World War II mid-century American magazine visual representations of Japan. By looking at imagery--advertisements, illustrations, photographs--in periodicals like Life and National Geographic, I map out the complicated political and cultural relationship between Japan and the U.S. At the close of the American Occupation of Japan in 1952, Japan was a sovereign country, a World War II menace, and much needed Cold War friend of the United States. In order to rebrand the Japanese as a harmless American ally, American magazine print media imagery and advertising depict an idealized representation of the Japanese and America’s relationship with the Japanese. Essentially, this research, an in depth visual analysis of 1950s magazine pictures, seeks to understand how a new image of Japan was sold to a fearful American public.