World War 2 Japanese Propaganda Woodblock Prints

Scarce set of two original World War 2 Japanese Propaganda Woodblock four-color prints. Although Japanese conformity may not have quite reached the levels of Nazi Germany, there were many similarities between how the war affected art in the two countries. Furthermore, in many instances Japanese leaders “modeled” their decisions on the “Nazi Propaganda Ministry”.Creativity and individuality were not ideals the new Japan would promote; instead art was to be created “not for its own sake, but in service to the Japanese race”. These values eerily echo those of Nazi Germany, and as war intensified, the government and military would have ever-increasing control over artistic production. Some in the government complained that Japanese artists were the last to help in the “ideological warfare” because they were too self interested. Additionally, the military explained that in order for art to be “meaningful” it needed “to have wide appeal and be grounded in universal relevance... good art was reflective of commonly held racial and national values”. Indeed the government needed artists, but only to produce “patriotic war images”.

This pair of woodblocks defines that lifeline between government and creativity by Japan’s finest artist.

Each woodblock measures 7’ x 10 inches on fine rice paper.

Item ID: 2223

$350 USD

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