The Japanese Art of Fascist Modernism: Yasuda Yukihiko’s The Arrival of Yoshitsune/Camp at Kisegawa (1940-41)

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Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Wednesday, January 28, 20154:00PM - 6:00PM208N, North House, Munk School of Global Affairs
1 Devonshire Place
M5S 3K7
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This presentation investigates The Arrival of Yoshitsune/Camp at Kisegawa (1940-41) produced by the Japanese-style painter Yasuda Yukihiko. It demonstrates that the painting, which emulates Kamakura-period paintings, depicts medieval warriors, and was displayed at an exhibition that celebrated Japan’s imperial family, significantly contributed to the politicized cultural discourse that espoused the theme of “return to Japan” (Nihon kaiki), which was central to Japan’s wartime ideology. The painting, Asato Ikeda will reveal, clearly drew on pre-modern Japanese pictorial art but it was simultaneously inspired by the modern aesthetics of post-expressionist machine paintings, and thus mirrors the fundamental contradiction of the wartime Japanese state that repudiated some aspects of modernity upon which it was nevertheless predicated. Following recent fascism studies that understand fascism in relation to a paradoxical attitude toward modernity, Asato Ikeda will suggest that Yasuda’s work not only exemplified the Japanese state’s appropriation of modernism, but can also be considered as a Japanese example of fascist modernism.

Asato Ikeda is Assistant Professor of Art History and Music at Fordham University, New York and an Asia-Pacific Journal contributing editor. Between 2014 and 2016, she is the Bishop White Postdoctoral Fellow at Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, where she plans to organize an exhibition about wakashu (male youth). Co-editor, with Ming Tiampo and Aya Louisa McDonald, of Art and War in Japan and its Empire: 1931-1960 (Leiden: Brill, 2012), she is currently working on a monograph that will explore the relationship between Japanese art and war in the 1930s and early 1940s.


Rachel Ostep


Dr. Asato Ikeda 
Assistant Professor, Fordham University

Main Sponsor

Dr. David Chu Program in Asia Pacific Studies


Asian Institute

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