After Japan's surrender in World War II, the country rapidly changed from an imperial nation under an emperor, to a democratic and demilitarized state.
Much of Japan lay in ruins after the war, devastated by air raids and the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yet the country's economy grew so fast that by 1964, Tokyo hosted the Olympic Games. Japan adopted a new, progressive constitution, allied with the United States and enshrined limits on the use of military force.
A new exhibition at the Open Eye Gallery in the U.K., organized by The Japan Foundation, shows Japan's transformation during this period through the work of 11 leading Japanese post-war photographers. "These two decades constituted a period truly brimming with creative energy – a time in which democracy led to the restoration of vitality and free photographic expression," the Gallery explains.
Take a look at some of their striking images of post-war Japan below.