Bandō Collection of the DIJ Tokyo

The so-called Bandō Collection, which has been in possession of the DIJ’s library since 1998, contains original material from the camp for war prisoners in Bandō and several other camps in Japan where around 5,000 Germans were detained between 1914 and 1920 following the fall of Tsingtao. The collection was further expanded through donations made from the holdings of Rudolf Ewert in 2004 and 2005, including a substantial collection of images from the Japanese camps for war prisoners and also from China. On the occasion of the initiative “Germany in Japan 2005/2006”, the Bando Collection was introduced to the general public for the first time and also presented on the DIJ’s homepage.

This exhibition provides visitors with a virtual tour of the Bandō camp, including its barracks, restaurants, and Tapautau, the city of huts. The tour called “Theater” provides an idea of the performance on the camp’s stage. The pages titled “Austausch zwischen Deutschen und Japanern” and “Ausstellung für Bildkunst und Handfertigkeit” illustrate the positive interactions with the Japanese population. The exhibition is completed by an article providing an overview of the camp Bandō and information on the economic situation for the prisoners.

Aside from the exhibition, visitors can use the data base to browse through all the documents of the Bandō collection, scan for key words or use the free text field search to go through complete entries. A large percentage of entries include digital recordings of the material. Both the data base and the exhibition are operated bilingually in German and Japanese. All digital recordings in the catalogue as well as in the exhibition include a magnifying function allowing for the material to be seen in high resolution. Clicking on the images’ captions in the exhibition also allows the user to directly switch to the catalogue.

The virtual exhibition was opened at the OAG House on October 26th 2005 in a joint event also celebrating the opening of the OAG’s exhibition “All Humans Become Brothers – German Prisoners of War in Japan, 1914-1920”. The exhibition was compiled by Ursula Flache and Claus Harmer.