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In an earlier post on the John R. Harold Papers, we highlighted a unique item — a kamishibai that was used for instruction on labor practices.  Kamishibai, a portable wooden “theatre” through which graphic panels were slipped to tell a story, were traditionally used by storytellers on the street to entertain children.  There are 22 kamishibai manuscripts in the Prange Children’s Book Collection.  They have been digitized and are available online in the Prange Digital Children’s Book Collection (due to copyright restrictions, full-text access is limited to the University of Maryland, College Park campus or onsite at the National Diet Library of Japan).  Examples are:

Some of the manuscripts were censored, such as “Banchan no tegara / 番ちゃんの手柄” (Prange Call No. 545-013).  Censored pages from the manuscript are below.

If you’re interested in more information on kamishibai, we recommend two secondary sources:

  • Orbaugh, Sharalyn. “How the Pendulum Swings: Kamishibai and Censorship under the Allied Occupation.” In Ken’etsu, media, bungaku: Edo kara sengo made, edited by Tomi Suzuki, 161-171. Tokyo: Shinyosha, 2012.
  • Yamamoto, Taketoshi. 2000. Kamishibai: machikado no media. (Tōkyō: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan.)
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The Kenneth E. Colton Papers

In January 1946, Kenneth Colton began work in GHQ SCAP’s G-2 as a research analyst and intelligence specialist in the Civil Intelligence Section (CIS), focusing on Japanese political parties.  He later joined the Civil Historical Section.  His tenure with GHQ SCAP ended in 1952 when the Occupation of Japan came to a close, but his interest in Japanese politics continued. In 1956, Colton published the article, Japan Since Recovery of Independence (Nov., 1956), pp. 40-53, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 308.  He taught at Sophia University, the International Christian University (ICU), American University and Kent State University.

The Kenneth E. Colton Papers span the years 1917-1974 and include correspondence, clippings, reports, photographs, manuscripts and memoranda related to Japanese political parties and figures, primarily from the period 1945-1955.  An item-level finding aid for the collection was recently completed and can be found here.


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Ozu Yasujiro’s ”The Record of a Tenement Gentleman”

[A guest post written by Lani Alden, former Student Assistant in the Prange Collection.]

There are countless books on a variety of media topics housed in the Gordon W. Prange Collection. These range from celebrity gossip magazines to film periodicals.  These are interesting places to explore the works of both famous and not-so-famous Japanese directors during the period of the U.S. occupation of Japan.  One Japanese director who remains somewhat unknown in the west, but is still held in high esteem among film critics globally was Ozu Yasujiro (小津安二郎: 1903-1963).

On May 20th,1947, Ozu Yasujiro’s first film during the American occupation of Japan was produced to great success.  It was titled ”The Record of a Tenement Gentleman” and focused on a lost boy trying to find a family in post-war Japan . It is unsurprising that stills from tne film and its production were snared publicly in a variety of magazines in Japan at the time.

Additionally, there were also some magazines published on the topic of Japanese film that were published in back-to-back Japanese and English,allowing English speakers in Japan at the time to enjoy film commentary and snapshots as well. One such magazine was Nichibei Cinema (日米キネマ).

The English in this magazine regarding ”The Record of a Tenement Gentleman” reads “Nagaya Shinshiroku (Shochiku) can easily be a true story in war-torn Tokyo” and a separate Japanese caption “長屋紳士録 (松竹) 東京の片隅にくりひろげる美しい人情世界庶民を愛する小津安二郎監督 飯田蝶子 吉川満子共演)  is presented on a separate page.

All Magazines at Prange Collection have been microfilmed and are available at various institutions, including the National Diet Library of Japan.  Please see this page for the list of institutions who hold the microfilms.

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Japanese flag illustrations censored

The use of the Japanese flag (the Hinomaru) was restricted, though not outright banned, during the Occupation.  To the Allied Forces, it was a symbol of Japanese nationalism and a reminder of Japan’s aggression during World War II. It is not surprising, then, that the flag was deleted from several Prange Collection children’s books.  Below are some examples.

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“What is the most researched topic in the Prange Collection?”

A patron once asked a Prange Collection staff member, “What is the most popular research topic in the Prange Collection?”  That was not an easy question to answer.  Over the years, scholars have researched a wide range of topics, including jazz, baseball, the development of the bullet train, and the pharmaceutical industry.  The Prange Collection holds materials on virtually every subject, and the research topics are endless.

However, two areas of study have attracted the attention of many scholars over the years: 1.  Korean residents in Japan during the Occupation, and 2.  the atomic bombs (Hiroshima/Nagasaki). Below are examples of publications on these topics that incorporated findings from research in the Prange Collection:

Korean Residents in Japan:

  • “The Korean press in Japan after World War II and its censorship by occupation authorities.” (Yoon, Heesang. 2004.) College Park, Md: University of Maryland. http://hdl.handle.net/1903/199.
  • “Zainichi Chōsenjin no media kūkan: GHQ senryōki ni okeru shinbun hakkō to sono dainamizumu.” (Kobayashi, Sōmei. 2007.  Tōkyō: Fūkyōsha.)
  • “GHQ占領期における在日朝鮮人団体機関紙の書誌的研究”. Intelligence.(12): 38-50. (小林聡明. 2012)
  • “戦後占領期の朝鮮人学校教科書に見る「民族意識」 : プランゲ文庫所蔵の史料を通して”. Intelligence. (12): 51-59. (池貞姫. 2012.)

The Atomic Bombs (Hiroshima and Nagasaki):

  • “The Atomic bomb suppressed : American censorship in Japan, 1945-1949″  (Braw, Monica, Göran Rystad, and Sven Tägil. 1986. Malmo, Sweden: Liber International.)
  • “原爆報道と検閲.” Intelligence. (2003): 42-47. (中川正美. 2003)
  • “GHQ/SCAP占領下の原爆表現–ccd(民間検閲支隊)の検閲をめぐって.” 国語教育研究 / 広島大学国語教育会 編. (2008): 1-17. (岩崎文人. 2008.)
  • “Genbaku to Ken’etsu: Amerikajin Kishatachi Ga Mita Hiroshima, Nagasaki.” (Shigesawa, Atsuko. 2010. Tōkyō: Chūō Kōron Shinsha.)
  • “Senryōki no shuppan media to puresukōdo : sengo Hiroshima no bungei katsudō” (Hiroshima-shi Bunka Kyōkai. 2013. )
  • “被爆者はどこに行ったのか? : 占領下の原爆言説をめぐって”. Intelligence.(13): 92-104. (石川巧. 2013.)
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Pocket notebooks and diaries

The directive was clear:   All print publications, no matter the format or content, must be submitted to the Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD) for review.  That meant everything.  So, for example, notebooks and diaries, even if they were blank (see image above), were submitted to the CCD.  In some cases, they were censored.

The notebooks and diaries have not been digitized yet, but they may be used onsite in the Prange Collection.  A basic inventory is available.  If you are interested in using these materials, please contact us at prangebunko[at]umd.edu.

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Fall Open House 2014

On Wednesday, October 22, the Prange Collection hosted its annual Open House. This year, the event was used as an opportunity to officially welcome the new Curator of the Prange Collection, Dr. Yukako Tatsumi, to the UMD Libraries and to the broader campus community.  In addition, original materials from the Prange Collection were exhibited, and University Archives displayed materials from the Gordon W. Prange Papers.  As a part of a short program, remarks were made by the following people:

For the report from Open House 2013, see this post.


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