The Bandou Prisoner-of-War Camp on the Internet

During World War I and after the fall of Tsingtao (China), approximately 4,700 Germans and Austrio-Hungarians were taken as prisoners-of-war by the Japanese. From 1914 to 1920 they were interned in several camps in Japan. About 1,000 of them were accommodated in the Bandou POW camp (Tokushima Prefecture) from 1917 to 1920. The goodwill of the Japanese camp's administration allowed the POWs to pursue various cultural activities by the means of which the Bandou POW camp provided an important contribution to the promotion of German-Japanese relations.

The library of the German Institute for Japanese Studies (Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien (DIJ)) in Tokyo holds a considerable collection of original materials from the Bandou and other POW camps. The collection contains journals, theatre and concert programmes, photographs, maps, and other items.

The virtual exhibition on our website at (available in German and Japanese) offers among other features a walk through the "slightly different POW camp" with its barracks, restaurants and the shopping quarter "Tapautau". The whole Bandou collection can be explored through the catalogue database, which contains digital pictures of the documents.