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Yu Yang Last modified date:2020.01.20

Assistant Professor / Faculty of Humanities

Academic Degree
Ph.D. in Art History
Country of degree conferring institution (Overseas)
Field of Specialization
Modern Japanese Architecture and Art History
Total Priod of education and research career in the foreign country
Outline Activities
Yang's research focuses on Urban Space and Architecture in East Asia during the twentieth century, in particular, the interaction between colonialism and regionalism.
Yang's teaching includes a variety of topics in Japanese Art History, Japanese Architectural History, and Gender Studies.
Research Interests
  • Urban Space and Colonial Architecture in Asia,
    Residential and Commercial Spaces of the Chinese, Japanese, and Russians in Manchuria during the early twentieth century,
    East Asian Studies from the Perspective of Global History,
    Modern Japanese Architecture and Visual Culture
    keyword : Architecture and Urban Space in Manchuria, Modern Japanese Architecture and Visual Culture, East Asian Studies, Global History Theory, Japanese Art
Academic Activities
1. YANG YU, Constructing a Manchurian Identity: Architect Endō Arata and Central Bank Club, Modern Art Asia, 73-93, 2012.05.
1. Yu YANG, Shadows of Bright Houses: Photographs of Architecture in Colonial Manchuria (1900-1945), The 35th Committee International d’Historie de l’Art, 2019.09, During the first half of the twentieth century, Japan’s colonial expansion in East Asia
brought many Japanese architects to Manchuria, present-day northeast China. They have
built all over Manchuria—government offices, commercial buildings, and residential
houses—and left a tremendous collection of visual records. The paper examines
these photographs from a different perspective, not merely considering them as
visual propagandas, but to focus on their visual power and function within the
exchange of people, objects, and ideas between Japan and Manchuria, and the
relationship between visual representation and space.
This presentation explores the role of visual representation in defining and shaping the
residential area in urban Manchuria during the first half of the twentieth century. Taking
photographs, drawings, and plans of residential houses displayed at the 1921 architectural
exhibition in Dalian as a case study, I examine Japanese architects’ designs for private
home and houses, published in architectural journals and displayed in architectural
exhibitions throughout the 1920s. Photos of houses in Manchuria published in the 1920s
were used to construct the daily space for a rising upper-middle class different from early
Japanese settlers, and to promote the housing reform in Japan.
After the establishment of Manchukuo in 1932, photographs of buildings in
Manchuria were included in the tourist postcards, one of the most popular
souvenirs for Japanese group tours in Manchuria that reached the peak around
1941. In particular, there were significant numbers of photographs of panoramic
views, public buildings, and construction sites: which functioned as visual allegories
of Manchukuo’s utopia future. Residential houses or interior of them were no longer
the center. Tourist postcards include exteriors of residential houses as symbolic icons of
Japan’s colonial rule. They have turned the buildings into products for the consumption
of mass tourism.
In conclusion, photographs, plans, and drawings or residential houses in Manchuria
during the first half of the twentieth century underwent a changing function. In the
beginning, they contributed to the construction and consolidation of the daily space
for the newly arriving upper-middle Japanese in the region. Later, they were
included as part of the tourist experience by compressing three-dimensional space
into flat surface and reducing the role of architecture into icons and symbols. The
case of colonial Manchuria, therefore, illustrates the tension between architecture
and its visual representation and their fluid boundaries and interchangeability..
2. YANG YU, Urban Configuration and Transformation in Colonial Manchuria: Collaborations and Competitions Among Multi-Ethnic Communities, The 12th International Symposium on Architectural Interchanges in Asia: “Confluence of Architecture in the Age of Super Connectivity”, 2018.10, 本発表は、現在中国東北地方である旧満洲の都市空間の発展と変遷を取り上げ、 先行研究と異なるグローバルヒストリーの視点から20世紀前半の満洲地域の特徴と多様性を明らかにする。新たな文献と視覚資料を分析し、商業空間と住宅地における雑居する実態を指摘し、日本、中国、そしてロシアの間の複雑な利益関係、また社会階級がどのような空間に影響を与えたかを動態的に再考する。このように、地域における植民地支配 の実態を把握することが可能になった。.
Membership in Academic Society
  • Society of Urban and Territorial History
Educational Activities
Academic English Writing Seminar: Abstract Workshop