600 picture postcards documenting various aspects of Imperial Japanese in the early 20th century. Subject areas include the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905), Japan's occupation and invasion of China from 1931 through 1945, as well as patriotic themes and visions of idealized life on the homefront and in occupied territories. This collection also includes postcards printed in the West during this period, which illustrate European and American fears of the "Yellow Peril" as Japan rose in prominence as an imperial power.
The first 150 postcards of this collection are official portraits, political cartoons, caricatures, and editorials about the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905). The Japanese cards exhibit bold design elements and extol military heroism. The Western cards illustrate fears of the "Yellow Peril," and varied appraisals of Japan as the newest member of the imperialist club. The next 100 cards illustrate, narrate and document Japan's occupation and invasion of China from 1931 through 1945, including cards about the international diplomatic environment. Over 100 examples of cartoon postcards of Japanese military life, colonial rule, and warfare from the 1930s and 1940s comprise the next set. The remaining 250 cards provide a wide array of patriotic themes and visions of idealized life on the homefront and in occupied territories. These include military songs and posters to commemorate important dates and years on the wartime ritual calendar. 127 postcards from this last section are from the collection Aikoku hyakunin isshu (愛国百人一首). These items retrofit wartime patriotic slogans into visual and poetic idioms from Japan's classical literary heritage. These 600 postcards were generously donated by Richard Mammana.