TOKYO: The Japan Press Research Institute said Tuesday that 7,054 photographs taken before World War II have been found.
The photos distributed to newspapers between 1932 and 1940 mainly by Domei News Agency, which existed in Japan before and during WWII, were discovered at the National Diet Library in Tokyo.
According to the institute, which is a public interest incorporated foundation, these photos showed social situations before the war. On Tuesday, the institute posted the photos on its webpage.
The photos captured scenes in various events, including the Marco Polo Bridge incident, the now-defunct Imperial Japanese Army occupying Nanjing, China, and an air defense drill joined by female students wearing gas masks, as well as the 1933 Showa Sanriku tsunami and the 1934 visit of Babe Ruth, a U.S. Major League Baseball home run king, to Japan.
The institute said that its officials found 101 albums with the photos and their captions at the National Diet Library in 2019. Since then, efforts had been made to digitize the pictures.
Domei News Agency was split into Jiji Press and Kyodo News after WWII.
When the war ended, all photos and films kept at Domei News Agency were burned by order of the government.
The discovered photos are “valuable materials that show the situations in those days,” an official of the institute said, voicing hope that they will be seen by many people.