Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pan-Pacific Peace Exhibition, Nagoya, Japan

The Pan-Pacific Peace Exhibition was a World's Fair that attracted almost five million visitors to Nagoya, Japan between March and May, 1937. The exhibition was sponsored by the Japanese government, with HIH Prince Higashikuni Naruhiko as chairman.


World's Fair exhibitions were held in many different countries over the years to highlight new developments in science, industry, architecture, and other fields. None of the other fairs had the word 'peace' in the title though, which is particularly sad and ironic in this case. Japan invaded eastern China in what was to become the Sino-Japanese War barely a month after the end of the exhibition. This conflict then merged into the greater World War II conflict.

If you went to the exhibition, you might have stayed at this hotel.

Here's what the back of the postcards look like.


  1. Nagoya Hotel - I like the morphing of the onion/hemisphere into a square base...:)

  2. It reminds me a little of the Ministry of Peace in Orwell's 1984.

  3. I'm sure the choice of words was a bit of propaganda to cast a positive light on the Japanese prior to the invasion of China- international visitors to the fair would know who the 'good guys' were and be ambassadors abroad. Considering the the mayhem to follow, I find the skewed images fairly appropriate and unsettling- there isn't much peaceful about a world turned on its side... Likely, it was an attempt to use the medium of photography in a modernist manner to represent a break from the past- note that the modernist exhibition buildings are shown at an angle, while the older hotel is shown in a traditional manner.

  4. When you consider this Plus the Berlin Olympics in much for International Meetings creating understanding+Peace!
    Brilliant postcards.Are they very rare?

  5. Tony,
    I don't really know how rare these are. I haven't seen any anywhere else, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything.

  6. I love the back of the first one. Especially where there is that little flower representation where the stamp should go. You have so many awesome postcards! How did you come to be owner of them?

  7. Pen Thief,
    I inherited some of them, and bought others from the local postcard club, shows, eBay, antique stores. I can just never bear to throw one out.

  8. Very interesting and a little sad.



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