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Censored Newspaper Articles

The 18,047 newspaper titles in the Gordon W. Prange Collection constitute the largest collection anywhere (including Japan) of Japanese-language newspapers published during the immediate post-World War II period.  Within this collection are major dailies such as Asahi Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun, and Yomiuri Shimbun, including their local editions. The Collection also includes less frequently issued newspapers such as Kumamoto Minyu Shimbun, Nihon Fujin Shimbun (Tokyo), Aoba Shimbun (Miyagi), Yakyujin (Tokyo), and Kanshiki Nyusu (Hyogo), as well as newsletters produced by political parties, labor unions, farming cooperatives, literary societies, educational organizations, and students.

The published versions of the Prange Collection newspapers were microfilmed in the 1990s.  The censored newspaper articles (CNAs) had yet to be organized and, therefore, were not microfilmed at that time. In March 2014, we began scanning the CNAs, with a projected completion date of January 2015. Access to the CNAs is restricted until the scanning is completed. Please contact prangebunko[at]umd.edu, for more information.

The CNAs are comprised of the following items:

  • Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD) documents (English)
  • News releases (primarily English & Japanese)
  • Newspaper article galley proofs (primarily English & Japanese)
  • Photographs (a small number)

The collection is organized into Foreign News and Local News and then chronologically. The vast majority of the articles are from the years 1947 and 1948, with a limited number of items from 1945, 1946, and 1949.

Below are examples of a CNAs with the following actions taken:  Pass, Delete, Suppress.

As the CNAs are scanned over the next several months, we will share with you additional samples from the collection.

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“Kaze to infuruenza”

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, the Prange Collection holdings are comprehensive, covering virtually all subjects.  Books in the Social Sciences, particularly in Political Science and History, were most often censored, but scientific and technical books were not exempt.  Below, for example, is a technical book for medical professionals entitled, Kaze to infuruenza (Saburo Kojima, and Hideo Fukumi. Tokyo: Hokuryukan, 1947) (Prange Call Number: 201-043), that was censored.   Note that the censor wrote “rewrite” on two passages on the galley proof.  In the published version, those passages were changed.  (Click the images to enlarge)

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Coloring books, Board games, and Cards

It’s hard to believe, but children’s coloring books (nurie), board games (sugoroku), cards games (karuta), and paper craft books (kosaku) were submitted to the Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD) during the Allied Occupation of Japan.  65 of these items are housed in the Prange Collection as part of the Children’s Book Collection.  They have been scanned and will be added to UMD Libraries’ Digital Collections.  Below are some examples.

A Prange staff member created a miniature paper town using a color photocopy of a pattern found in Gofukuyasan to ouchi (Prange Call Number: 462-028).  We showcased the town at Maryland Day 2012.

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Publication: Engineering War and Peace in Modern Japan, 1868-1964

Nishiyama book cover

Takashi Nishiyama recently published Engineering War and Peace in Modern Japan, 1868-1964 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014), which addresses the development of the Shinkansen during the 20th century. According to Nishiyama, although he did not use materials from the Prange Collection specifically for this project, his research in the collection helped him shape the way he looked at the engineering project.

Professor Nishiyama is a 2005 – 2006 recipient of the 20th Century Japan Research Award.

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The National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual event commemorating the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington, D.C.  This year, it will take place from March 20 through April 13.  The Festival’s largest event is the Sakura Matsuri, a Japanese street festival featuring food, live performances, and merchandise.  It will take place on March 12 at 12th Street & Pennsylvania Ave., NW, not far from the National Mall.

Check out these Prange Collection newspaper articles about the National Cherry Blossom Festival (click images to enlarge):

And the Prange Collection book, Beigun no heiwa shinchu (米軍の平和進駐, Prange Call No. DS-9013), that mentions the cherry blossom trees in Washington D.C.   The red pencil marks were made by the censor.  It it unclear whether the passages marked were deleted (or changed) in the published version (click images to enlarge).

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New Flickr Sets for Samples of CCD Documents

We’ve updated our Flickr galleries to include two new sets of Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD) documents — one for book documents and one for magazine documents.

Check them out!  We plan to add more CCD documents to these galleries and to eventually add a new gallery for newspaper documents.

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Braille Books & Magazines

Among the most unique materials in the Prange Collection are the 185 Braille book and magazine titles. They include English textbooks, religious pamphlets, Western literature in translation and medical books.  They were submitted to the Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD), and some were censored.  Below are examples of our holdings (click to enlarge):

  • Eigo kaiwa vol. 1(英語会話 vol. 1) [Prange Call Number: LB-12_v.1]
  • Kokugo 4 (こくご4) [Prange Call Number: LB-01_v.4]
  • Tenji tenrikyo no shinko (点字 天理教の信仰) [Prange Call Number:: BL-01]
  • Robinson hyoryuki (ロビンソン漂流記) [Prange Call Number: PR-02]
  • Hiroshima (ヒロシマ) [Prange Call Number: DS-01/02]
  • Byorigaku kyokasho (病理学教科書) [Prange Call Number: LB-26]

Below are examples of Braille magazines in the Prange Collection, Tenji no tomo (点字の友) and Tenji mainichi (点字毎日), and hand-written manuscripts for these magazines.  Tenji no tomo, v.8 no.1 [Prange Call Numbera: ZT-03] was censored.

Due to their fragility, the Braille books and magazines have been rehoused in custom-made boxes and sleeves.  Access to the originals is limited.  An inventory with photocopies of the covers is available onsite in the Prange Collection.  For more information, contact prangebunko[at]umd.edu.

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