The Light of Asia caricature

The Light of Asia caricature

The light of Asia caricature

Title: The light of Asia caricature

Dimensions: 253mm x 220mm x 1mm

Material: Ink on photographic paper

Provenance: unknown, probably Australia

Description: A caricature / demonization of Japan represented as an evil samurai with a large grin and sharp teeth, a sword on his back contains text which reads: 'my open sesame', the sun can be seen behind the figure. In the foreground on the bottom right corner is the outline of Australia, text reads: 'The land of promise'.

This object potentially dates from the WWII era. It is an example of the attitude which lead to 'Populate or Perish' campaign against the 'yellow peril' following conflict with Japan during the second world war.

Significance: This object is a reflection of the discriminatory perceptions which lead to restrictive immigration. It demonstrates the way in which fear was spread to push certain policies. Ironically the fear of Asian invasion lead to post world war two European migration, and the gradual relaxation of strict immigration control.

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