These materials belong to the former collection of Tanaka Takeo (1891-1966), which was acquired from an antiquarian bookshop in Osaka in October 2014. The collection includes three albums with photos and postcards, more than one hundred individual photos, as well as one diary covering the period before and after August 1945.
Mr. Tanaka had worked for the colonial police on the Korean peninsula, eventually being promoted to the rank of superintendant-general (seimu sōkan), the second highest position in the colonial administration. Before the end of the war, he also served as member of the House of Peers (Kizokuin).
A large part of the materials we have acquired consists of photos and postcards dating to Mr. Tanaka’s time in the colonial administration on the Korean peninsula. It only includes a few items dating to his period as member of the House of Peers and the post-war period. Among the numerous photographs in the collection are images depicting work in the colonial administration, group photos with colleagues and other colonial officials, as well as photos showing family life in the Tanaka household. The photographs included in this collection provide a glimpse into the lives led by high-ranking officials in colonial Korea.
We are currently proceeding to put the photos in order, and are preparing the release.
A short biography of Tanaka Takeo
Born in Miyagi Prefecture in 1891. Graduated from Meiji University in 1912. After spending time in the prefectural police force in Nagano, Tanaka transferred to the Korean colonial administration. After moving to the Korean peninsula, Tanaka served in the following positions: head of police in Hamgyeongbuk Province (1922), head of the higher police in the Central Police Bureau (1924), head of the security division in the Central Police Bureau (1926), head of police in Gyeonggi Province (1928), head of the security division in the Central Police Bureau (1929), head of the Office of External Affairs in the Korean colonial administration (1932). Tanaka served mostly in the police administration, becoming head of the colonial police in 1936. In 1939, he served as undersecretary (jikan) of colonial affairs under Minister of Colonial Affairs Koiso Kuniaki. In 1942, he was made superintendant-general in the Korean colonial administration, and in 1944 he acted as chief secretary (shoki kanchō) in the Koiso cabinet. After retiring from service, he became a member of the House of Peers, and was purged from public office after the war. While acting as head of the Central Japan-Korea Association, he also served as director of the foundation Seikōkai, providing assistance to Korean class B and C war criminals. (“Chōsen sōtokufu kankeisha rokuon kiroku (1),” Tōyō bunka kenkyū no. 2, 2000)