Peace Commemorative Exposition, Ueno Park, Tokyo, 1922.



1920sHistoric EventsMuseums & Expositions/Exhibitions
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Peace Commemorative Exposition, Ueno Park, Tokyo, was held from March 10-July 22, 1922 to commemorate the end of the Great War (World War I) in 1918. Its opening coincided with the return of Japan’s delegates from the Washington Naval Conference, an attempt by the Great Powers to limit naval military growth.

“On the morning of the return of Japan’s delegates from the Washington Conference, Ueno Park began a joyous celebration. Though a rainy day and early for spring blossoms, the Tokyo Peace Exposition, according to the daily Tokyo Asahi, honored ‘the best of world culture’ and stood as ‘a harbringer of dazzling beauty’.

“Costing 6 million yen and comprising almost fifty pavilions, a 110,000-sqaure-meter natural lake, two triumphal gates, a signature ‘peace tower’ and a ‘peace bell’, the four-month extravaganza became the largest Japanese exposition to date.

“… With the tolling of the peace bell, several dozen doves flew ‘happily’ toward the skies. Festival chair Prince Kan’in, backed by a stage adorned with celebratory pine, plum and bamboo, officially opened the expo by declaring world sentiment fed up with ‘the ghastly evils of war’ and ‘full admiration for the happiness of peace’.”

World War I and the Triumph of a New Japan, 1919-1930, by Frederick R. Dickinson, 2013

Peace Tower and cherry blossoms, 1922 Peace Commemorative Exposition, Ueno Park, Tokyo.

Peace Tower and cherry blossoms, 1922 Peace Commemorative Exposition, Ueno Park, Tokyo. The Japanese officials in charge of the exposition stated that it was to be the most comprehensive exhibit of world products ever gathered in one place.

“[T]here is a critical interval in the 1920s, when Japan’s national flower came to symbolize something quite distinct. The Peace Exposition, which had triumphantly marked the return of Japan’s delegates from the Washington Naval Conference in 1922, had begun in March, on the eve of the annual excitement over cherry blossoms.

“As coverage of the conspicuous paean to peace began to flower, so too did the cherry trees enveloping the expo grounds in Ueno. The result was a strong new association of cherry blossoms with the 1920s culture of peace.”

World War I and the Triumph of a New Japan, 1919-1930, by Frederick R. Dickinson, 2013

The Tokyo Peace Commemorative Exposition [Hakurankai Jimukyoku] was held March 10-July 22, 1922 at Ueno Park to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the end to the Great War (World War I) in 1918. The size and beauty of the exposition far surpassed any other fair that had been held in Japan.

The Exposition was dominated by the Peace Tower (above), designed by Hiroguchi Sutemi and modeled after the Wedding Tower in Darmstadt, Germany. Members of the Bunriha Kenchikukai designed a number of the buildings for the exposition, as well as students of nearby Maekawa Kuno’s school of architecture.

Panoramic views of the Exposition

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Exhibition Halls

Peace Commemorative Exposition, Ueno Park, 1922.

Peace Commemorative Exposition, Ueno Park, 1922. A seaplane sped around Shinobazu Pond when not taking to the air in exhibition flight

 “Culture Village”

“Culture Village” was a popular addition to the exposition. Drawing on contemporary Japanese interest in home design and housing reform, organizers hoped that the exposition would stimulate a depressed postwar economy with increased production and consumption of goods exhibited at the Peace Exposition. The twelve model homes on display, Japan’s first model home exhibition, aimed at creating both an ideal domestic environment for the new urban middle class

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2 thoughts below on “Peace Commemorative Exposition, Ueno Park, Tokyo, 1922.

  1. Pingback: Meiji Industrial Exhibition, Ueno Park, 1907 | Old Tokyo

  2. Pingback: Exposition of Shining Technology (2,600th National Foundation Anniversary), 1940. | Old Tokyo

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