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Hidden Stories: A Japanese Antiques Dealer and American Collector

The political tensions building between the USA and Japan over imperial ambitions in the Pacific during the early C20th, impacted on a thriving international trade in Chinese and Japanese antique art. The Chang dynasty artefacts, and other material, now in the Smithsonian collections provide an opportunity to look into this story through the relationship of two individuals, Yamanaka Sadajirō and Charles Lang Freer.

This is the second hidden story inspired by objects in the Smithsonian’s 3D Digitization initiative. It is linked to a powerful short ‘sense of place’ film produced by the International Center of Photography in New York about the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War 2. Reminding us that our story is part of a wider history which saw the forced removal of all people of Japanese ancestry living on or near the West Coast of the USA. 

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