Seizure of power by the Japanese in 1943 resulted in an armed uprising in the country, which saw a period of Japanese occupation for the next three years in Malaya. Life in this period had a defining impact on the handling of graphic arts, where all forms of printed media were turned into Japanese propaganda. The Japanese used a decisive lexicon of symbolism to obliterate icons of British imperialism, and confronted the people with imageries of the Japanese culture (most famously, the rising sun). Here, graphic design adapted and shifted its role appropriately, from commodification and trade to ‘persuasion’. In other words, design was used in the service of control and influence, in this case, for the promotion of Japanese values.
Artifacts from the period of occupation
1940s poster in Chinese and Malay to persuade fellow Malayans to adopt the Japanese culture.
To commemorate the birth of greater Japan. A series of stamps was produced in Malaya, with the underlying theme of "rebirth".
Featuring a Malay boy as the subject matter on this Japanese World War II postcard in Malaya.
A postcard painted by Kawabata Ryushi with a title "A thorn is a challenge. The direction army dispatch of Malaya" during the World War II
Featuring a Malay girl as the subject matter on this Japanese World War II postcard in Malaya.
Photo News Weekly, a pictorial publication during the Japanese Occupation.
One of the money raising scheme during the Japanese administration was the sale of lottery tickets. Engo Saiken is one of the 2 main lotteries
One of the money raising scheme during the Japanese administration was the sale of lottery tickets. Konan Saiken is one of the 2 main lotteries
Syonan Times (Shimbun), an English newspaper published during the Japanese Occupation; the Syonan Times or Shimbun (abbreviated to SS) commenced publication on 20 February 2602
The 1944 "Rebirth" stamps series from the Japanese Occupation period of Malaya.
To commemorate the fall of Singapore & the birth of greater Japan. This stamp was produced.
Japanese screened mostly documentaries and propaganda films to encourage the locals to adopt the Japanese culture & morals.
Chinese Ad for a Japanese Propaganda movie, c. 1943.
The leaflet above was dropped by the Japanese in both the Malay and Chinese languages. It addresses the Malayans as “brethren” and asks that they
British Military Administration card, 11860 kHz, 7.5 kW trasnmitter transferred by Japanese from Penang to Jurong.
Issued by the Japanese during their occupation of Malaya between 1942 and 1944. The front of this rare note features a tree bearing fruit, with