HAA Lecture, Emperor Taishō, Mass Media Monarch: Portraits and Popular Imagery in Twentieth-Century Japan, lecture by Prof. Alice Tseng

5:00 pm on Wednesday, January 29, 2020
8:00 pm on Wednesday, January 29, 2020
CAS Room 132, 725 Comm Ave, Boston
Despite his short life and even shorter tenure on the throne, Emperor Taishō (1879-1926) was the first Japanese emperor to have his full life, from childhood to death, visually documented and disseminated through mass media. Newspapers, magazines, albums, prints, and postcards widely circulated his formal portraits alongside images of people and places he visited, and ceremonies and events he participated in. This talk analyzes the nascent visual ubiquity of the emperor figure in modern Japan, taking into consideration the global phenomenon of using photography and other highly reproducible media to picture royalty as at once inimitable authority and celebrity entertainment. The HAA Lecture Series brings together historians of art, architecture and material culture specializing in diverse fields and genres. Prominent scholars are invited to share their latest research with the BU community in a lecture followed by Q&A and a light reception. The HAA Lecture Series is organized by a committee of graduate students and faculty from the department.