Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Front
  • Description

    Illustrated magazine. Nos. 1-6 bound in 3 vols. (of 9). Numerous photographic illustrations including numerous fold-out plates as well as posters. Text of vol. 1 in French, vol. 2 in English, vol. 3 in Japanese. First edition.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1942
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Curator's comments

    Front is a tour-de-force of design and photography: Essentially a propaganda magazine it was intended for foreign audiences and apparently distributed in fifteen languages throughout the 'Greater East-Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere'. Ironically the magazine was modelled on the famous publication ‘USSR in Construction’ which was designed by El Lissitzki (1890-1941) with contributions by Alexandre Rodchenko (1891-1956) during the 30s. It is outstanding in its innovative use of design, including photomontages, large-scale foldout posters and inserts giving a sense of dynamic movement.. No. 1-2 deals with the navy, no. 3-4 with the air-force, and no. 5-6 with Manchuria. Kimura Ihei was the head of the photography section which included Kazano Haruo, Watanabe Tsutomu, Katsura Koshiro, Oki Minoru, Sekiguchi Mitsumori, Hamaya Hiroshi, Kikuchi Junkichi, Nishino Kazuo, Sakaguchi Tadahiro, and Tsuji Yunnosuke. Hara Hiromu was in charge of design working with Ogawa Toraji, Imaizumi Takeshi, and Hasuike Juntaro. The complete stock of the tenth volume (entitled: Tokyo at War) was destroyed in an air-raid in 1945. No copy in OCLC. (Titus Boeder, 9/2007)


  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    2009-2010 18 Feb-14 Feb, BM, Japanese Galleries, 'Japan from Prehistory to the Present'
    Oct 2012 - April 2013, BM, Japanese Galleries, 'Japan from Prehistory to the Present'
    2013 May-Sep, London, BM, The Art of Influence: Asian Propaganda

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department


  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • PB.390 (Photobook number)


If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: JCF20345

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help