Nihon (well, Chyuugoku in fact) no Weirdness (Third in a Series?): Son Mao Goku

Yes, well, I still have no idea where Otaku Lens is going, let alone this category which has only had two posts. However, it fits the bill perfectly for something I discovered: although I am fully aware of the role played by comics and animation in propaganda (both good and bad) on a global scale (Disney’s anti-Nazi animations, Marvel’s original Captain America, Troubled Waters by the European Parliament etc.) and the particular clipping I dug out is a few months old, it is only yesterday that I realized I had kept it.

Rendition of Goku as a Chinese soldier, riding Kintou-un.

It was a paper article about Mao’s China and the role of posters in the People’s Republic (established 1946). At the time, poverty and illiteracy were rampant, so the posters served a double function: first, they conveyed their meaning in pictures, so the people did not have to be able to read the announcements and slogans posted on them and second, they were colorful and beautiful, ideal for decorating the home at a time when even money for food was scarce). The end result was people linking Chairman Mao and his regime to the intimacy of their own homes and to various figures drawn from myth, such as Goku, the Monkey King from the original Chinese epic Journey to the West (Saiyuki Monogatari in Japan), as well as “reverse” Momotaro tales (Momotaro is considered by many to have become widespread due to the character’s wide use as Japanese imperial propaganda supporting the colonization of China and Korea).

Today, the posters are bought by Western collectors for huge sums – long past is the day when they adorned a poor Chinese student’s home. There is also a very interesting book by Taschen on them, conspicuously titled “Chinese Propaganda Posters”.

At any rate, I found it interesting, especially the picture, so here it is.




5 Responses to “Nihon (well, Chyuugoku in fact) no Weirdness (Third in a Series?): Son Mao Goku”

  1. Chyuugoku, hell yea!
    Thats interesting, even though I have two simmillar Mao posters (they are rather small though) and they werent that expensive.

    P.S. About the fact that I reply pretty fast, I am not stalking your blog waiting for you to post or something, I am just subscribed and get notifications, k? xD

  2. speedxgrapher Says:

    Well, I suppose that the actual ones from 1946 to the 1960s are the ones hunted for by collectors.

    It would be my honor for you to stalk my blog but let’s face it: the other way around is much more plausible (though I can’t say as I can really comment on Lolita Fashion – you do write beautifully though).


  3. Chugoku einai to swsto dystixws get used to it oti kai na ginei!!!

  4. speedxgrapher Says:

    Εμμμ… εννοείς ορθογραφικά ή πολιτιστικά ή… *αχεμ* “πολιτιστικά”;

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