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Memorial Images for Children & Children in Memorial Images—Focused on the 1930s–1940s

Sun, June 26, 10:30am to 12:20pm, Shikokan (SK), Floor: 1F, 111


This paper reveals the emergence of the Japanese child as a "figure" and as a "target of edification" as evidenced in the visual works produced during 1930–1940. "Yōsei-kan" is a "small national spirit hall of fame" built to commemorate the birth of the Heir Apparent, Crown Prince Akihito, in Tokyo in 1933. National history paintings were supposed to be permanent displays in the main building. The purpose of the national history picture gallery was to display the fact in particular that should be inspiring national history as a painting. The Yōsei-kan building was completed in 1937, and the mural paintings were gradually installed and completed in 1942. It includes 77 motifs, from "Amaterasu" to "Crown Prince birthday celebration." Fifty-five painters participated in the 78 pieces. These works are currently held in Ise Shrine Chōkokan. This analysis considers the differences between adults and children, comparing the paintings of "Yōsei-kan" with the "Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery." It also deals with the characteristics of children drawn into the works in comparison with other monuments featuring children as a theme.