Showa Era Occupations: Everyday Life in Prewar Japan


 In 1939, when Western-style painter, Sanzō Wada (1883-1967) began his series of woodblock prints titled Showa Era Occupations, he planned on publishing one-hundred scenes of how Japanese people made a living in both traditional and modern professions at the time. Such series of pictures of everyday life have a long history in Japan, dating back to the Middle Ages. After producing 48 prints, Wada was forced to suspend his project in 1941 because of the outbreak of war. He would return to the theme in 1954, releasing an additional 24 prints in the next two years under the title Showa Era Occupations Part II.

 The prints on display, all from the prewar series, highlight Wada’s ability to give life to the human form. It is said that he spent more than a decade sketching people at work before embarking on the project. Thanks to Wada’s powers of observation and expression, and the skills of the woodblock carvers and printers still active at the time, Showa Era Occupations gives us an opportunity to appreciate how ordinary people lived during an extraordinary period in history. The prints in this exhibition come from the private collection of Visiting Professor Andrew Horvat, Faculty of International Humanities.


Playing with the work illustrated cards
7/14 sat. 13:30 – 15:00
Instructor: Fujita Yuri, Akamatsu Chika, and Seo Kikuko
Admission: Free
Venue: Orientation Room (Library, 1F)
Capacity: 15
Reservation required

Gallery Talk by Prof. Andrew Horvat

7/12 thu. 13:00-


Hours: 10:00-16:00
Closed: Sundays and Mondays
Admission: 100 yen (free for high school students and under)


●By train: take either the JR Sotobō Line to Ōami Station or the JR Sōbu Main Line to Narutō Station; change trains and take the JR Tōgane Line; get off at Gumyō Station; 5 minutes walk to the university
●By car: take either the Keiyō Highway or the Tateyama Expressway to the Chiba-higashi Junction; from there, enter the Tōgane Toll Road; exit at Tōgane and take National Highway (Route) 126 in the direction of Narutō for about 20 minutes; at the signal at Josai International University Mae, turn right
●Shuttle Bus Service Available from: JR Tokyo Station, JR Yokohama Station, JR Nishifunabashi Station; JR Kisarazu Station, JR Chiba Station, JR Soga Station, JR Ōami Station, JR Narutō Station, JR Tōgane Station, Keisei Narita Station


Mizuta Museum of Art, Josai International University 
1 Gumyō, Tōgane-shi, Chiba 283-8555, Japan
Tel. 0475-53-2562

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