Reenvisioning Japan

An online critical archive of tourism, travel, and ephemeral images of Japan and its place in the world in the early to mid-20th century

Reenvisioning Japan logo over an asian artpiece

Re-Envisioning Japan uses travel, education, and the production and exchange of objects and images as a lens to investigate changing representations of Japan and its place in the world with a focus on the early-to-mid-twentieth century. The key objectives of this project are preservation, access, and historical analysis.

As a multimedia resource, Re-Envisioning Japan makes available a wide range of artifacts that generally have not been a priority for collecting institutions until recently, if at all, allowing users to work with less conventional, ephemeral primary sources. Except for the archival film category and some of the glass lantern slides, all objects, and images presented here belong to Professor Bernardi's collection.

This collection encompasses a range of things falling into the broad categories of travel, tourism, and education: for example, amateur travel films; educational films; postcards; photographs; stereographs; glass slides; tourist brochures; guidebooks; promotional trade publications; books; and teaching guides. The objects and images on this website tell us something about the individuals that used (or created) them and the cultural, political, and economic systems that produced them.

Ideally, when this site is completed, its architecture will allow a dynamic community of contributors to register and contribute content to its archive, forging paths of inquiry for a new community and providing fresh perspectives on familiar questions.

Project team
Joanne Bernardi
Jim Barbero