Art, War and Truth: Nomonhan 1939

Document Type



This paper is about two paintings by the Japanese artist Fujita Tsuguharu (1886–1968) of separate incidents that occurred during the Battle of Nomonhan, a summer-long conflict between Japan and the Soviet Union that took place in 1939 and ended in costly defeat and humiliation for Japan. Following the theme of art, war and truth, I attempt to reconstruct the original context of the paintings from historical sources and to discover or uncover, as reasonably as possible, their meaning and relationship to truth.