Once upon a time

On Victory over Japan Day a photograph of a sailor kissing a woman in a white dress became iconic. ‘Victory over Japan Day’ is the day Japan surrendered which brought the end of World War II. This spontanious event that took place on the day was captured by Alfred Eisenstaedt. The excitment and chemistry shown between these two people is impulsive and forceful but it projects a meaning of intimacy and togetherness that two complete strangers can share in celebration. The idenities in the photograph are unknown which adds drama to the story as we dont know who they are where they came from or what they were doing that day apart from kissing. What became of these two young people? The identity of the woman was eventually found her name was Edith Shain. Although the man‘s identity never was. There were other photos taken that day in the same style however those photographs were staged. One couple the woman who’s name was Rita Petry and the man who’s name was George Mendonsa had in fact married a year later. Love at first sight!

Quote- Alfred Eisenstaedt “In Times Square on V.J. Day I saw a sailor running along the street grabbing any and every girl in sight. Whether she was a grandmother, stout, thin, old, didn’t make a difference. I was running ahead of him with my Leica looking back over my shoulder but none of the pictures that were possible pleased me. Then suddenly, in a flash, I saw something white being grabbed. I turned around and clicked the moment the sailor kissed the nurse. If she had been dressed in a dark dress I would never have taken the picture. If the sailor had worn a white uniform, the same. I took exactly four pictures. It was done within a few seconds. Only one is right, on account of the balance. In the others the emphasis is wrong — the sailor on the left side is either too small or too tall. People tell me that when I am in heaven they will remember this picture”.



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