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Sketches of G. I. in New Japan, Collection 1

Wada Sanzō (1883-1967)

Japanese Color Woodblock Postcards

Sketches of G.I. in Japan, Collection 1

(A set of three postcards in a wrapper)

"complemented" by Wada Sanzō, 1946-1948

Wada Sanzō (1883-1967)

IHL Cat. #1153

Sanjō Bridge in Kyoto
(Kyoto Sanjō Ōhashi)

IHL Cat. #1154
IHL Cat. #1154

Japanese Coming Home on Hakata Pier
(Hakata-kō no hōjin hikiageru)

IHL Cat. #1155
IHL Cat. #1155

A Snowy Sight at Hibiya Junction in Tokyo
(Tokyo Hibiya kōsaten no yuki)

IHL Cat. #1156
IHL Cat. #1156

About These Postcards

A set of three postcards created under the direction of Wada Sanzō (1883-1967) by unknown artists. The woodblock printed wrapper pictures a G.I. leaning against the railing on Kyoto's Sanjō Bridge. In the left corner "Hori" is printed, but it is unknown if this is the mark of the artist who created this design. The Japanese writing on the wrapper reads 木版絵葉書  アメリカの兵隊さんと 新日本風景 和田三造 補修, which can be translated as "woodblock postcards, Scenic Views of American Soldiers in New Japan (or Sketches of G.I. in Japan), Wada Sanzō, complemented."  The meaning of "complemented" [補修 hoshū] is unclear. Lawrence Smith states "The involvement of the quite celebrated artist Wada Sanzō (1883-1968) in this series is not clear from the text, where the term ‘complemented’ (hoshu) might imply either ‘added to’ or ‘added by’."1 While each of the three postcards is signed (see "Artists" under "Print Details" below), the artists are unknown.

All of the postcards display some aspect of cooperation between the Japanese and their American occupiers following the war.

Sanjō Bridge in Kyoto - Smith goes on to say "On one of the favourite tourist spots in Kyoto, three G.I.s have obviously just been enjoying the sight of two passing 'maiko' (the Kyoto variety of a 'geisha')."2 

Japanese Coming Home on Hakata Pier - civilians are seen disembarking from the ship named the "Dockwiler" at Hakata Pier in Fukuoka.  The ship is likely the Liberty Ship the S.S. John Dockweiler, launched in January 1944. Hakata was a major processing center for Japanese "displaced persons" who had been repatriated from China, Korea and other former Japanese colonies with the help of U.S. ships following Japan's defeat.  The repatriation effort started in March 1946 and the Hakata processing center was closed by the end of 1948, making the publication date of these postcards likely in that period.3

A Snowy Sight at Hibiya Junction in Tokyo - an occupation soldier and a Japanese policeman join in directing traffic at busy Hibiya Junction.  They seem to be waving to each other in a comradely way, further evidence of the harmonious relations between defeated Japan and the occupation forces depicted in these postcards.

1 Japanese Prints During the Allied Occupation1945-1952, Lawrence Smith, British Museum Press, 2003, p. 112, cat. 77.
2 Ibid.
3 For more information on the repatriation after the war see US Army Center of Military History website  http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/MacArthur%20Reports/MacArthur%20V1%20Sup/ch6.htm

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1153, 1154, 155, 1156
 Title/Description 1153 - Sketches of G.I. in New Japan [wrapper for the  set of three postcards]
 Amerika heitaisan shin Nihon fūkei アメリカの兵隊さんと 新日本風景 
 1154 - Sanjō Bridge in Kyoto
 Kyoto Sanjō Ōhashi 京都三條大橋
 1155 - Japanese Coming Home on Hakata Pier in
 Hakata-kō no hōjin hikiageru  博多港の邦人引揚げ
 1156 - A Snowy Sight at Hibiya Junction in Tokyo
 Tokyo Hibiya kōsaten no yuki  東京日比谷交差点の雪
 Series Sketches of G.I. in New Japan
Amerika heitaisan shin Nihon fūkei アメリカの兵隊さんと 新日本風景
 "complemented" Wada Sanzō (1883-1967)
 1153 "Hori" or, perhaps "Nori" appears in the lower left-hand corner.
 1154 "Horimoto" appears in the upper left-hand corner.  Possibly "Masachika Horimoto" who collaborated with Wada on the series "A Collection of Woodblock Prints of Japanese Life and Customs."
 1155 a seal reading 邦 appears in the upper right-hand corner. 
 1156 the initials S. Y. appearing in the bottom right-hand corner.

 see "Artist" above
 see "Artist" above
 Publication Date 1946-1948
 Publisher Miho shobo 
 Printer Kyoto hangain  京都版画院
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent - slight overall toning
 Genre shin hanga
 H x W Paper 1153 - wrapper: 8 1/4 x 8 1/16 in. unfolded (21 x 20.5 cm)
 1154, 1155, 1156 - 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 in. (8.9 x 14 cm)
 Collections This Print Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 2006.2037, 2006.2030, 2006.2033, 2006.20034; The British Museum 1994,1213,0.3 (Sanjō Bridge in Kyoto only)
 Reference Literature Japanese Prints During the Allied Occupation1945-1952, Lawrence Smith, British Museum Press, 2003, p. 112, cat. 77