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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Robert F. Hardin World War II Japanese War Trials Photograph Collection

Identifier: 2020-03-04
The Robert F. Hardin World War II Japanese War Trials Photograph Collection is a small collection consisting of 158 black-and-white photographs providing detailed visual documentation of the proceedings of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, 1946-1948.

The bulk of the photographs depict the proceedings in the courtroom. There are approximately 55 wide-angle views of the courtroom during the trials; 51 close-up candid shots of people over the course of the proceedings, including images in the courtroom, in offices, and in other locations; 51 informal portraits of people involved, including a set of 25 2x3" pictures of defendants with their sentences hand-written along the bottom edge of the images; and one 8x10" print of an exterior view of the Japanese Imperial Army headquarters.

Among the people pictured are those central to the trials, including prosecutors, defense attorneys, justices, witnesses, and the accused. Many photos also depict those on the periphery of the event, such as the Language Arbitration Board, military police, secretaries and assistants, journalists and correspondents, and visitors, including a class of students from the Tokyo Dependent School. Representatives from all the countries involved in the trials, including Australia, Canada, China, France, India, Japan, the Netherlands, the Philippines, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States, are among those pictured.

The bulk of the images are about 4x5", though some are slightly smaller and there is one larger print of the building, as noted above. Many photographs have stamped information on the backs providing descriptions of the scene pictured, identifications, dates, and photographer information, including credit to the U.S. Army Signal Corps. The bulk of the images date from August 1946 to March 1947; however, as there are some undated images, it is possible some of those date from either earlier in 1946 or later in the trials in late 1947 or early 1948.


  • circa 1946-1948


Language of Materials

All materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research and is accessible in the Dahlberg Research Center by appointment. For more information contact us.

Conditions Governing Use

The Museum of Flight (TMOF) Archives is the owner of the physical materials in the archives and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from TMOF archives before any publication use. TMOF does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.


.1 Cubic Feet (one expandable letter-width folder)


Robert Franklin Hardin served in the U.S. Army as a Tech 5 during World War II. His collection consists of 158 black-and-white photographs providing detailed visual documentation of the proceedings of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East which took place in Tokyo, Japan in 1946-1948.

Biographical Note: Robert F. Hardin

Robert Franklin Hardin was born in Denver, Colorado on January 27, 1926. During World War II he served in the U.S. Army as a Tech 5. After the war he worked as a ship's architect. His wife was Sachiko Hardin. Robert passed away on July 28, 1965 in San Francisco, California. No further information is known.

Biographical information derived from donor information and
Historical Note: Tokyo War Crimes Trials After the end of World War II, the governments of the four major allied powers (France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States) set up the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE) in Tokyo, Japan as a counterpart to the International Military Tribunal (IMT) in Nuremburg, Germany to prosecute the war crimes of the European Axis. The IMTFE presided over a series of trials of Japanese political and military leaders with the aim of trying and punishing Far Eastern war criminals. Whereas the IMT was established by the signing of the London Agreement in August 1945, the IMTFE emerged from the July 1945 signing by China, the United Kingdom, and the United States of the Potsdam Declaration. Later, at the Moscow Conference in December 1945, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States (with concurrence from China) agreed to a structure for the occupation of Japan. Subsequently, in January 1946, General MacArthur issued a special proclamation that established the IMTFE, and laid out its composition, jurisdiction, and functions.

Each of the countries that had signed Japan’s instrument of surrender (Australia, Canada, China, France, India, the Netherlands, the Philippines, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States) appointed judges and had a prosecution team. The defense consisted of Japanese and American lawyers. Similar to the IMT, the IMTFE had jurisdiction to try individuals for Crimes Against Peace, War Crimes, and Crimes Against Humanity, and the definitions were nearly identical to those contained in the Nuremberg Charter. However, the IMTFE had jurisdiction over crimes that occurred over a greater period of time, going back to the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931 and up to Japan’s surrender in World War II in 1945.

The Tokyo War Crimes Trials occurred from April 1946 to November 1948. The tribunal convened on April 29, 1946 and the prosecution opened its case on May 3. The IMTFE presided over the prosecution of nine senior Japanese political leaders, 18 military leaders, and one scholar who were charged with 55 separate counts of waging of aggressive war, murder, and conventional war crimes committed against prisoners-of-war, civilian internees, and the inhabitants of occupied territories. During the proceedings, the court ruled that 45 of the counts, including murder charges, were redundant or not authorized under the IMTFE Charter. Two defendants died during the trials and one was found unfit to stand trial. The rest of the defendants were found guilty and sentenced to punishments ranging from seven years’ imprisonment to death. Japanese Emperor Hirohito and members of the imperial family were not indicted. Hirohito was permitted to retain his position on the throne, but with a lesser status. The tribunal concluded on November 12, 1948.

Historical Note information derived from:
  • "International Military Tribunal for the Far East" accessed June 3, 2021.
  • "The Nuremberg Trial and the Tokyo War Crimes Trials (1945–1948)" accessed June 3, 2021.,trials%20were%20held%20to%20try%20%E2%80%9Cminor%E2%80%9D%20war%20criminals.


Because there was little evidence of original order, the photographs were grouped by subject and the courtroom scenes rearranged chronologically with undated items placed at the end.

Custodial History

The collection was donated by Hardin's granddaughter.


No further accruals are expected.

Existence and Location of Copies

Materials from this collection have been digitized and are available at The Museum of Flight Digital Collections.

Processing Information

The photographs arrived in two albums. For preservation purposes, the prints were removed from the albums. Black paper on the backs of some images suggests that they had previously been stored in a different album. Because there was little evidence of original order, the photographs were rearranged. Some residue from tape and adhesives from the albums remains on some photos.

Defendants who appear in the photographs

Araki, Sadao, 1877-1966
Doihara, Kenji, 1883-1948
Hashimoto, Kingorō, 1890-1957
Hata, Shunroku, 1879-
Hiranuma, Kiichirō, 1867-1952
Hirota, Kōki, 1878-1948
Hoshino, Naoki, 1892-1978
Itagaki, Seishirō, 1885-1948
Kaya, Okinori, 1889-1977
Kido, Kōichi, 1889-1977
Kimura, Heitarō
Koiso, Kuniaki, 1880-1950
Matsui, Iwane, 1878-1948
Minami, Jirō, 1874-1955
Mutō, Akira, 1892-1948
Nagano, Osami
Oka, Takasumi, 1890-1973
Ōkawa, Shūmei, 1886-1957
Ōshima, Hiroshi, 1886-1975
Satō, Kenryō, 1895-
Shigemitsu, Mamoru, 1887-1957
Shimada, Shigetarō, 1883-1976
Shiratori, Toshio, 1887-1949
Suzuki, Teiichi, 1897-
Tōgō, Shigenori, 1882-1950
Tōjō, Hideki, 1884-1948
Umezu, Yoshijiro

Tribunal judges who appear in the photographs
Bernard, Henri, 1899-1986
Cramer, Myron C., 1881-1966
Jaranilla, Delfín J., 1883-1980
McDougall, Edward Stuart, 1886-1957
Mei, Ruao
Northcroft, Erima Harvey, 1884-1953
Pal, Radhabinod
Patrick, William Donald, 1889-1967
Röling, Bernard Victor Aloysius
Webb, William F. (William Flood), 1887-1972
Zaryanov, Ivan Michyevich


Guide to the Robert F. Hardin World War II Japanese War Trials Photograph Collection
Completed - Level 3
N. Davis
Description rules
Language of description
Edition statement
2nd edition

Revision Statements

  • 2022 January: Added index with names of criminals and judges

Repository Details

Part of the The Museum of Flight Archives Repository

9404 East Marginal Way South
Seattle Washington 98108-4097

The Museum of Flight | 9404 E. Marginal Way South | Seattle WA 98108-4097 | 206-764-5874
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