Maykova N. Junior Captain S. A. Alekseev’s Photo Album as an Ethnohistorical Source on Japan in the Early Twentieth Century

Nadezda Maykova
Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation
ORCID: 0000-0002-2816-5769
E-mail: nmaykova@gmail.com

 

Download  |  Go to Issue #4. 2021

 

ABSTRACT. The article introduces a new source on the Russian-Japanese war, everyday life in Japan at the beginning of the twentieth century, and the history of private collecting. Personal photographs of the Russian Army officer Sergei Andreevich Alekseev are stored in the collection of the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera). The collector’s biography is full of blank spots, but he is known to have been captured during the Russo-Japanese War and escorted to two POW camps in Japan. Due to the humane attitude towards prisoners, he was able to get acquainted with everyday life in the country and to collect an impressive collection of decorative and applied art, paintings and prints, postcards and photographs of the period. Alekseev witnessed the consolidation of the Japanese nation and rapid transformation of the country. He saw a trained army, modern ships and railways, electric lamps in the streets. He also observed ancient temples, unusual clothes, pretentious hairstyles, and well-groomed gardens. Alekseev’s photographs clearly convey the Russian officer’s interest and admiration of the country where, by the will of fate, he found himself.

 

KEYWORDS: S. A. Alexeev, Japan, Russo-Japanese War, photographs, Matsuyama Camp, Shizuoka Camp, prisoner of war

 

DOI 10.31250/2618-8619-2021-4(14)-200-221

УДК 069.01+069.5

 

REFERENCES

  • Abilova R. O. Problemy izucheniia fotodokumenta kak ob’ekta arkhivovedeniia v rossiiskoi istoriografii (2000e gody) [Problems of Studying a Photo Document as an Object of Archival Studies in Russian Historiography (2000s)]. Uchenye zapiski Kazanskogo universiteta [Proceedings of Kazan University], 2015, vol. 157, book. 3, pp. 89-97. (In Russian)
  • Benedict R. Khrizantema i mech: Modeli iaponskoi kul'tury [The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: Patterns of Japanese Culture]. Moscow; St. Petersburg: Center for Humanitarian Initiatives, 2013. (In Russian)
  • Fedorova T. V. Rossiiskie voennoplennye v Iaponii v period russko-iaponskoi voiny 1904–1905 godov [Russian Prisoners of War in Japan during the Russian-Japanese War of 1904–1905]. Kul’tura. Nauka. Obrazovanie [Culture. Science. Education]. Irkutsk: Irkutskii gosudarstvennyi universitet putei soobshcheniia, 2016, vol. 2, pp. 104–114. (In Russian)
  • Gushchin A. V. Put’ na Vostok: otpravka russkikh plennykh v Iaponiiu v 1904–1905 godakh [The Way to the East: Sending Russian Prisoners to Japan in 1904–1905]. Istoricheskii ezhegodnik 2007 [Historical Yearbook 2007]. Novosibirsk: Ripel, 2007, pp. 34-44. (In Russian)
  • Kowner R. Historical Dictionary of the Russo-Japanese War (Historical Dictionaries of War, Revolution, and Civil Unrest). The Scarecrow Press Inc., 2006.
  • Ksenofontova R. A. Iaponskii farfor i faians Kutani v kollektsiiakh MAE [Japanese Porcelain and Kutani Faience in MAE Collections]. Kul'tura i byt narodov stran Tikhogo i Indiiskogo okeanov [Culture and Everyday Life of the Peoples of the Countries of the Pacific and Indian Oceans]. Moscow, Leningrad: Nauka, 1966, pp. 155-181. (Sbornik MAE, vol. 23). (In Russian)
  • Meshcheryakov A. N. Kniga iaponskikh obyknovenii [A Book of Japanese Customs]. Moscow: Natalis, 1999. (In Russian)
  • Meshcheryakov A. N. Kniga iaponskikh simvolov [A Book of Japanese Symbols]. Moscow: Natalis, Ripol Classic, 2004. (In Russian)
  • Meshcheryakov A. N. Imperator Meidzi i ego Iaponiia [Emperor Meiji and His Japan]. Moscow: Natalis, 2009. (In Russian)
  • Shatsillo V. K. Iaponiia i iapontsy glazami russkikh voennoplennykh, 1904-1906 [Japan and the Japanese through the Eyes of Russian Prisoners of War, 1904-1906]. Opyt mirovykh voin v istorii Rossii [The Experience of World Wars in the History of Russia]. Cheliabinsk: Kamennyi poias, 2007, pp. 349-357. (In Russian)
  • Tolmacheva E. B. Kommercheskaia fotografiia kak istoricheskii istochnik [Commercial Photography as a Historical Source]. Radlovskiy sbornik MAE RAN v 2006 g. [Radloff Collection of Articles of the MAE RAS in 2006]. St. Petersburg: MAE RAN, 2006, pp. 85-87. (In Russian)
  • Tolmacheva E. B. Pervye fotokollektsii MAE. Sobraniia I. S. Poliakova kak otrazhenie obshchei istorii formirovaniia fotofonda [The First MAE Photo Collections. I.S. Polyakov’s Collection as a Reflection of the General History of the Photographic Collection Formation]. Illiustrativnye kollektsii Kunstkamery [Illustrative Collections of the Kunstkamera]. St. Petersburg: MAE RAN, 2014, pp. 309-322. (Sbornik MAE, vol. 59). (In Russian)
  • Uimanen O. F. Fotografiia vtoroi poloviny 19—nachala 20 veka v kul’turnom nasledii Rossii [Photography of the Second Half of the 19th—Beginning of the 20th Centuries in the Cultural Heritage of Russia]. Vestnik Sankt-Peterburgskogo gosudarstvennogo instituta kul'tury, 2015, no. 1 (22), pp. 44–51. (In Russian)
  • Vorontsova E. A. Fotografiia rubezha 19–20 veka kak istochnik dinamicheskikh media [Photography of the Turn of the Twentieth Century as a Source of Dynamic Media]. Nauchnye vedomosti Belgorodskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta, 2012, no. 6 (125), vol. 13, pp. 138-142. (In Russian)
  • Yurgeneva A. L. Fotografiia kak iazyk i fenomen massmedia [Photography as a Language and the Phenomenon of Mass Media]. Vestnik RGGU, 2011, no. 17, pp. 74-82. (In Russian)
  • Zhukova L. V. Povsednevnost’ iaponskogo voennogo plena: russkie soldaty i ofitsery v Iaponii v 1904–1905 godakh [The Daily Routine of Japanese Military Captivity: Russian Soldiers and Officers in Japan in 1904-1905]. Obozrevatel’-Observer, 2010, no. 1, pp. 106-119. (In Russian)