National

120 years of Japan Times front pages on show at Nagoya University of Foreign Studies

Staff Report

An exhibition showcasing the history of modern Japan through 120 years of front pages from The Japan Times opened Monday in Nisshin, Aichi Prefecture.

Organized by the Nagoya University of Foreign Studies World Liberal Arts Center and jointly hosted by The Japan Times, the exhibition features about 40 pages of the newspaper’s coverage since its foundation in 1897.

The exhibition is titled “Modern Japan Through the Lens of an English-language Newspaper — An exhibition of Front Pages from The Japan Times.”

The major events and topics on display include the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, Japan’s 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, the suicide of Japan’s leading novelist Yukio Mishima, the death of Emperor Showa and the visit by U.S. President Barack Obama to Hiroshima in 2016. The exhibit also illustrates how The Japan Times had to change its name to the Nippon Times during the war after being pressured by Japan’s military-led government as it fought the United States.

Just like many other newspapers in Japan during the period, The Japan Times was operating under censorship by the military government during the war. In the postwar period, the paper was also closely monitored by the Allied Occupation of Japan, which was headed by U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

“Through this exhibition, I hope students will be able to understand important historical events deeply — beyond what has been reported on the surface,” said Kazuhiko Kojima, PR advisor at Nagoya University of Foreign Studies, who organized the exhibition. Kojima is a former Chunichi Shimbun writer.

“Reading the past front pages of The Japan Times, people today can learn a lot about Japan’s modern history, how Japan struggled to become a modern nation, war, peace and journalism,” said Sayuri Daimon, managing editor and executive operating officer of The Japan Times, who gave a guest lecture at the university on Monday.

In addition to how the newspaper covered those historical moments, she also talked about how The Japan Times reported the recent Great East Japan Earthquake and the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011.

The exhibition will run through June 8 at the Nagoya University of Foreign Studies Library in Nisshin. Admission is free.

More information can be found on the university’s website at jtimes.jp/nufs.