Hero Image

Fanning the Flames: Propaganda in Modern Japan


Welcome to Fanning the Flames, an online portal to a variety of resources focused on the propaganda of modern Japan. Your exploration will reveal resources in the form of digital stories, videos, interactives, and digitized collections—gathered together by the staff of the Hoover Institution Library & Archives (HILA) and subject matter specialists from around the world.

Discover new research. See one-of-a-kind objects. Watch propaganda performed. Share your insights.

Engage with HILA.

Digital Stories

Explore highlighted topics related to propaganda in modern Japan through digital stories.

icon 1 Core Topics introduce the history, propaganda, and artistic mediums of the era.

Icon 2 A Closer Look offers explorations of more specific topics crafted in special collaborations.

Collection Highlights

Discover the collections and items that inspired the Fanning the Flames project.

CH Nishikie

View the entire digitized Japanese Woodblock Print Collection from the Hoover Archives …

Explore more

View the entire digitized Kamishibai Collection from the Hoover Archives …

Explore more

Discover highlighted selections from the Hoover Library related to propaganda in modern Japan …

Explore more

Discover highlighted collections and objects from the Hoover Archives related to propaganda in modern Japan…

Explore more


Watch, play, and interact with digitized collections in new ways.

Watch and Learn

Exhibition in Hoover Tower Gallery

Experience the propaganda of modern Japan via a video tour of the exhibition.

Onsite Exhibit at Hoover Tower

The physical exhibition of Fanning the Flames: Propaganda in Modern Japan ran from November 16, 2021 through July 15, 2022.  No longer on display, the content of the exhibition remains available here on this site. You can also experience the past exhibition by viewing our video tour led by Kaoru (Kay) Ueda and Marissa Rhee.

Watch the Video Tour>>

Fanning the Flames: Propaganda in Modern Japan


Propaganda shaped Japan during a time of dramatic cultural and political change, as a once isolated feudal country was transformed into an imperialist modern state. In Fanning the Flames, essays by renowned experts probe and contextualize these potent arts, accompanied by rich illustrations from the celebrated collections of the Hoover Institution Library & Archives, including woodblock prints, photos, posters, and the rarely examined “paper plays” known as kamishibai. These documents impart a valuable understanding of the past, present, and future of East Asia, where old wounds from battles won and lost still reverberate within Russian, Japanese, and Chinese relations.

Fanning The Flames Book Cover

Picturing Empire, Nishiki-e and the Wars of Imperial Japan | Olivia Morello and Michael R. Auslin


Anchors of History, The Long Shadow of Imperial Japanese Propaganda | Barak Kushner


Multinational Perspectives of Visualized Journalism on the Sino-Japanese War, A Comparative Study of Meiji Japan, Qing China, and Europe | Toshihiko Kishi


Nishiki-e and War Prints | Junichi Okubo


A Visual Revolution, The Emperor in Popular Nishiki-e | Alice Y. Tseng


Visual Media Trends during the Russo-Japanese War Period, A Comparative Study of Meiji Japan and Czarist Russia | Toshihiko Kishi


Bakudan san’yūshi, The Three Heroes of Shanghai | Hanae Kurihara Kramer and Scott Kramer


The Pacific War and Kamishibai | Tsuneo Yasuda


 Printed Wartime Kamishibai | Taketoshi  Yamamoto


The Fanning the Flames Speaker Series highlights conversations with leading scholars of modern East Asian history, art, and propaganda and is presented in conjunction with the launch of the book, website, and upcoming physical exhibition.

March 10 - 2022
December 7 - 2021
Historiography of the Pacific War: Past Accomplishments and Future Challenges

Ronald Spector, Jonathan Parshall, Richard Frank, Yuma Totani

October 5 - 2021
June 1 - 2021
August 26 - 2021

Learn more about the Library & Archives

The mission of the Hoover Institution Library & Archives is to collect, preserve, and make available the most important materials about global political, social, and economic change in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We serve as a platform for a vibrant community of scholars and a broad public interested in the meaning and role of history.

Stay updated

Sign up with your email below to receive the Hoover Institution Library & Archives newsletter: