Tokyo: The Imperial Capital

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The Wolfsonian–Florida International University’s portfolio of Koizumi Kishio’s (1893–1945) prints from his One Hundred Pictures of Great Tokyo in the Shōwa Era (Shōwa Dai Tokyo Hyakuzue), produced from 1928 to 1940, sets the stage for an exhibition depicting the transformation of a key Asian city after an earthquake struck Tokyo and eastern Japan with devastating force at 11:58 a.m. on September 1, 1923. A vigorous rebuilding campaign restored the city and transformed it into the imperial capital, despite the rigors of economic depression both locally and abroad. Koizumi Kishio was one of the woodblock print artists who captured the drama of its rebirth as the city embraced modernity, maintained traditions, and became the site of ultimately disastrous political policies. The images produced by Koizumi are a pantheon of impressive views—from modern facilities such as Haneda airport to nostalgic renderings of revered ancient temples.

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