Visualizing the Birth of Modern Tokyo

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 - 11:30am to 1:00pm

The workshop, "Visualizing the Birth of Modern Tokyo," traces the creation of a new MIT online course in which woodblock print series reveals the imperial capital launched from old Edo in the gas-lit 1870s and the city as it emerged from the rubble of the 1923 earthquake.

Students will acquire skills in image analysis and digital communication while learning about Tokyo and the pressures of Westernization and rapid modernization. They learn about narrativizing image sets, thinking visually, and will use the course as a launch point for their own creative ideas about how to examine a city multilaterally in both space and time.

Ellen Sebring created the online course-Visualizing the Birth of Modern Tokyo (VTx)-with scholars including eminent historian John W. Dower from MIT Visualizing Cultures and the Smithsonian Institution.

The course, VTx, can be freely accessed at

MIT Visualizing Cultures, the source material for the course: