<p>Abstract:</p><p>This article examines Japanese imperial portraiture in the emerging mass media of the late Meiji and Taisho periods. Photography used with other artistic and reproductive methods generated the ubiquitous presence of the imperial family and other elites in newspapers, illustrated journals, and picture postcards. While unprecedented visual access to the monarchy promised immediacy and authenticity, the wide-ranging body of graphic representations also freely replicated and manipulated the official "true likenesses" (<i>go-shin'ei</i>). The continuum of visual representation for Yoshihito (Emperor Taisho) from childhood to death best epitomizes the early twentieth-century transcultural phenomenon of using photography to picture royalty as inimitable authority and visual entertainment.</p>
The Journal of Japanese Studies – Society for Japanese Studies
Published: Aug 6, 2020
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