MIT Visualizing Cultures

Throwing Off Asia – Lesson 03

Bunmei Kaika: The Role of Art in Promoting Government Policy

Handout 03-A | Printer-friendly Word doc

Student Directions
Working in a group, your task is to create a PowerPoint or print presentation that explains and illustrates the meaning of one of the three slogans used by the Meiji government to inform and mobilize Japanese people behind sweeping modernization efforts. Your teacher will assign your group one of the following slogans:
   • Bunmei Kaika: Civilization and Enlightenment
   • Fukoku Kyōhei: Enrich the Nation; Strengthen the Army
   • Shokusan Kōgyō: Encourage Industry
In your group:
1. Review the woodblock prints that take modernization as their theme from the Throwing Off Asia I Essay. You may work with all the images in this section.
2. Select six woodblock prints that illustrate or exemplify the modernization slogan assigned to your group. These selections will be open to your own interpretation. Keep in mind that many of the woodblock prints address multiple aspects of “becoming modern” and so could work under one or more of the modernization themes.
3. Create a PowerPoint or paper presentation that explains, in concrete examples, what the slogan meant for Japanese people and the nation.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology © 2008 Visualizing Cultures