Touring Buildings of Colonial Modernity: Architecture and Tourism in Manchuria (1905-1945)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper examines the Japanese cultural construction of the image of Manchuria through the interaction of tourism and modern architecture in the early twentieth century. The examination of postcards, photos, and travel-logs related to Japanese tours to Manchuria reveals that the Japanese tourists' perception of Manchuria has changed from an adventurous, remote land to a safe, idealist and entertaining theme park. Architecture played a significant role in the construction of Japanese tourists' experiences of Manchuria. Buildings in various modern styles constructed by the Japanese architects in the new capital, Shinkyo, not only served as symbols of Japanese authority, but also contained a picturesque quality to be looked at from tourist buses. The visual abundance of photos and postcards of these buildings therefore reinforced the image of Manchuria for mass consumption as modern and exotic, and the actual spatial experiences were intentionally dwarfed, if not ignored. By situating the bus tours in Shinkyo within the historical context of colonial tourism and discourse of modern Japanese architecture, this paper characterizes the unique urban spatial experience of the colonial modernity.
Translated title of the contributionモダンな建物を巡る:近代満洲の建築と植民地観光(1905−1945)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEAAC 2015 Gwangju Practical History: History in Practice and Practice in History during the 21st Century
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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