Fanning the Flames
Fanning the Flames

Fanning the Flames

Propaganda in Modern Japan

Edited by Kaoru Ueda



188 Pages, 11 x 9.5

Formats: ebook: PDF, Hardcover

Hardcover, $59.95 (US $59.95) (CA $80.95)

Publication Date: June 2021

ISBN 9780817924645

Price: $59.95


Following a period of strict isolationism from the West, Japan began a series of modernization efforts, starting in the Meiji Restoration, that transformed the nation from a scattered feudal state to an expansionist empire. Accompanying these changes, state-sponsored and grassroots commercial propaganda became an omnipresent influence in all aspects of Japanese life. Fanning the Flames takes a comprehensive look at how Japan deployed popular arts for propaganda that created an imperialist fervor. Inside are scholarly essays by experts, with more than 100 rich color illustrations from the collections of the Hoover Institution Library & Archives, including woodblock prints, photos, posters, and the rarely examined street paper plays called kamishibai, many of which had been destroyed or lost by the end of the Second World War. Spanning from the First Sino-Japanese War through World War II, these important documents build a visual narrative that charts the rise of an imperialist nation and demonstrates how expansionist policy disseminated through mass media to shape a modern Japan, forever changing political relations between East and West and between Japan and its neighbors.


"Beautifully illustrated, a most valuable contribution to our understanding of political culture in modern East Asia." —Matthew H. Sommer, professor of Chinese history, Stanford University

"Illuminates the vital roles that mass media have played . . . in the creation of militant imperial Japanese subjects." —Yuma Totani, professor of history, University of Hawaii

"Retells the history of Japan's modern warfare as driven and shaped by the power of spectacle . . . in a compelling dialectic of propaganda and social control." —Jun Uchida, associate professor of history, Stanford University

"Poised at the juncture of political history, art history, and visual culture studies, this readable and highly informative volume [is] richly illustrated and enlightening." —Sharalyn Orbaugh, professor of modern Japanese literature and popular culture, University of British Columbia; author of Propaganda Performed: Kamishibai in Japan's Fifteen Year War

"Lavishly illustrated . . . provides scholars and students alike with a striking new way to visualize modern Japanese history." —Tristan R. Grunow, visiting assistant professor of history, Pacific University, and digital media editor, Critical Asian Studies

Author Biography

Kaoru "Kay" Ueda is the curator of the Japanese Diaspora Collection at the Hoover Institution Library & Archives and the editor of On a Collision Course: The Dawn of Japanese Migration in the Nineteenth Century.