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Framing The Ruins: The Documentary Photographs Of Yamahata Yōsuke (Nagasaki, August 10, 1945)

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Chapter Summary

Alongside overtly artistic media such as paintings, sketches, novels, short stories, poems or feature films, wartime documentary photographs look decidedly minimalist by comparison. This chapter demonstrates in the photographs of Yamahata Yōsuke, a Japanese army photographer who was sent into Nagasaki the day after it was bombed with orders to document the condition of the city and its people. The limitations of his view notwithstanding, Roland Barthes basic insight that photographic connotation is no less significant than photographic denotationin spite of the documentary photos compelling power to focus our attention on the lattersuggests a point of departure for the analysis of Yamahata Yōsukes Nagasaki images .

Keywords: documentary photographs; Nagasaki; Roland Barthes; Yamahata Yōsuke



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