A Photographer in Shanghai: The Japanese


The war between China and Japan that broke out in 1937 was a modern media war involving the international press as an actor in the game for public opinion. This was the especially the cases in the early stages of the war, when it was waged over cities along the Chinese east coast easily reached by foreign journalists. Both sides of the conflict were eager to present their side of the story to the world and usually granted western correspondents extensive access.

One of the most prolific foreign photographers during the three-month battle for Shanghai in 1937 was American-born Malcolm Rosholt. His images show clearly that he was a frequent visitor to both sides of the frontline. The photos on this side are of members of the Japanese forces, which suffered unexpectedly severe losses during the three-month campaign.

This article reproduces a small selection of Rosholt’s huge output of photos. They are brought with the kind permission of Historical Photographs of China, a project based at the University of Bristol. All photos are courtesy of Historical Photographs of China, Mei-fei Elrick and Tess Johnson.










Categories: Media, War


  • George Kulstad says:

    The second photo down shows a European/Caucasian woman coming from Hongkew, heading toward downtown Shanghai at the Bund, lugging a suitcase, while a Chinese man (an employee?) carries other household items. The Japanese soldiers seem to let them pass without interference, while two Asian women on the left watch the proceedings. A pity we don’t have more identifying data, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if the camera were able to record the thoughts of all those shown in the photo with their differing viewpoints? Is that the husband bringing up the rear, and carrying what looks like a lighter suitcase?

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