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News 200 BW photographs of people in the Battle of Okinawa colourised


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
A 44-year-old company employee from Osaka has coloured more than 200 black-and-white photographs taken during the Battle of Okinawa at the end of WWII. He focused on photos depicting children waiting for medical treatment, which are vividly recreated. "I wanted people to pay attention to the children through the colourised photographs", he said and has been posting them on social networking sites.

While working for an IT-related company, the man has been colourising black-and-white photos for the past five years and posts them on Twitter under the name 'Horinyo' (ホリーニョ).

The black-and-white photographs were taken by the US military and are preserved at the Okinawa Prefectural Archives and other institutions. They are all freely available without copyright restrictions. When loaded onto the dedicated app from the museum's digital archive (electronically archived material), they are automatically coloured based on data learnt by AI (Artificial Intelligence). Colour irregularities and colours considered unnatural from a historical perspective were manually corrected. Horinyo familiarised himself with the method at a workshop run by Professor Watanabe Hidenori of Tokyo University, a leading expert in colourisation.

Battle of Okinawa colourised photos
Battle of Okinawa colourised photos

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