Saturday 6 April 2013

Wartime Japanese Art

Ki-21 "Sally" bombers over SE Asia landscape

Jerry Boucher very kindly sent me this link to an article by E.M. Sanchez-Saavedraon on the Yesterday's Papers blog featuring wartime Japanese postcards, some of which depict aviation subjects. There is also a wonderful collection of wartime Japanese picture books catalogued online at Kokugakuin University. An excellent feature of the site is that each page of each book can be opened individually as a very large size image. The site is all in Japanese text but navigation is fairly intuitive and there is much of interest to explore there. Note especially the depiction of the Japanese Army ash green colour (Hairyokushoku - 灰緑色) in many of the paintings.

Nakajima Ki-21 "Sally" bombers under attack by Chinese biplane fighters 

Ki-30 "Ann" crews briefing before mission

Ki-48 "Lily" bombers attack in moonlight

And whilst on the subject of Japanese military postcards and paintings I can heartily recommend 'A Postcard History of Japanese Aviation: 1910-1945' by Edward M Young (Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 2012). It is an excellent and comprehensive study with many fascinating contemporary images in colour. To any web-image satiated enthusiasts who think there is going to be nothing new to see in this book - think again! There are some absolute gems and the book is a delight to browse and to own.

Image credits: Postcard images via Yesterday's Papers; Painting images © Kokugakuin University via website; Book cover © 2012 Schiffer Publishing Ltd.)


Bob Alford said...

Apart from being a great read the book by Ed Young on Japanese aviation postcards is highly recommended and it has been invaluable in me being able to accurately caption a large number of the Japanese WWII aviation postcards - along with some prewar items - in my collection.

Many thanks for bringing it to our attention Nick.


Bob Alford
Lampang Thailand

Ken Glass said...

Thanks for the mini review on the book, Nick.

Ken Glass