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A Topography of Modern Japanese Bronze Statuary

Personality Cult in Modern Japan


Today, we can find more than 1,000 bronze statues of historical figures in Japan.

Bronze statues have been built in Japan since 1880s, several hundred between 1910 and 1935. Most of them were melted down during World War II for the production of ammunition, but today, we can find a replica of almost every prewar statue, plus new statues for more recent personalities.

What kind of personalities are depicted in the statues, and for what puropose?

These pages want to give an overview over the history of bronze statues in Japan as a distinct form of a modern personality cult.

Enjoy browsing photos of statues, sources relating to the history of certain statues, some of my publications on the history of bronze statuary in modern Japan, and other information.

Statistics: statistics about Japanese bronze statuary. When were the statues built? Who is depicted? What historical eras are emphasized through the medium of the statue? What personalities appear most frequent as a statue in public space?

Photos: historical and recent photographs of bronze statues (see "About this Site" for copyright issues).

Media: other media reproducing bronze statues, such as stamps, coins, bills, advertisement, etc.

Sources: primary historical sources concerning the history of statues.

Highlights: well, the highlights...

Publications: some of my publications on bronze statuary in Japan