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Japan and The Graphic

A Complete Record of Events, 1870-1899

Edited by Terry Bennett

Launched in December 1869 in direct competition to The Illustrated London News, (ILN) which first appeared in 1842, The Graphic set out to upstage its competitor through the quality and amount of its illustrations (including colour) and the paper it was printed on. Together, however, the two periodicals dominated nineteenth-century British journalism. With circulations far in excess of The Times, the extent of the news – including considerable foreign reporting – opinion and miscellaneous data of these two publications provides an invaluable resource for researchers and historians.

As with the ILN, this complementary one-stop reference volume brings together the complete archive of all reports, features, illustrations and incidental commentaries relating to Japan from the first report of 5 February1870 discussing Japan’s recent civil war, the overthrow of the ‘Shiogoon or Tyocoon’, the restoration of the Emperor (Mikado) and a vindication of Britain’s ‘policy of firmness’ vis à vis Japan. Its concluding report on 16 December 1899 (the year of the ratification of the ending of the Unequal Treaties was concluded) notes: ‘No power in the world stands in a more delicate and difficult position than Japan does just now.’

This volume of 400 pages includes an 8-page plate section featuring a selection of The Graphic’s colour printing relating to Japan, a full cross-referenced Index by J.E. Hoare, together with an historical perspective by former British Ambassador to Japan Sir Hugh Cortazzi and an introduction to The Graphic in the context of nineteenth-century media history by Terry Bennett.
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Japan and The Illustrated London News

Complete Record of Reported Events, 1853–1899

Edited by Terry Bennett

The Illustrated London News, launched in 1842, was the world’s first illustrated newspaper and an immediate success. Its first report on Japan, however, was not until eleven years later when as a result of Commodore Perry’s much discussed plan to ‘open’ Japan it published a substantial piece entitled ‘The United States Expedition to Japan’ in the issue of 7 May 1853, opening with the portentous words: ‘The presence of a large and powerful American fleet in the Eastern Seas possesses an unexpected interest at the present moment...’ Various reports by unnamed correspondents continued for the next eight years, until August 1861 when Charles Wirgman’s first report with illustrations appeared. Described as ‘Our Special Artist and Correspondent’, Wirgman was to be the ILN’s principal source for reporting on Japan for many years, and famously reported the attack on the British Legation in July 1861 and the British bombardment of Shimonoseki in 1864. After the mid-1870s Wirgman’s input declined and the work of other artists and reporters appeared instead. The ILN’s own obituary on Wirgman was published on 28 March 1891. By the late 1880s new photogravure printing technology was in place and the appearance of the paper changed significantly. Furthermore, the reporting from Japan diminished noticeably; indeed, there were a number of years in the period featured in this volume when not a single item on Japan appeared. But in the mid-1890s the ILN carried in-depth reporting on the Sino-Japanese War (1894-5), to the virtual exclusion of any other stories, and then reported nothing for the following two years. This volume concludes in 1899, the year of ratification of the ending of the Unequal Treaties between Japan and the Great Powers, which had major implications for Japan and its nascent empire; yet the ILN failed to make any reference to it. Instead, its one report for the final year of the nineteenth century was on the launch of the British-built battleship Asahi, which was to play a major role in the Imperial Japanese Navy during the forthcoming Russo-Japanese War (1904-5) – a war which once again was to preoccupy the ILN pages. Thus, Japan and The Illustrated London News provides readers and researchers for the first time with a ‘one-stop’ access point to the complete record of reported events relating to Japan in the critical half century following its opening to the West.
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Terry Bennett

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Terry Bennett

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Terry Bennett

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Terry Bennett

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Terry Bennett

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Terry Bennett

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Terry Bennett

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Terry Bennett