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]
Hiroshima [Prange Call Number: DS-01]
DS-01: Recycled papers were used for “Hiroshima.”
Jitsuyo Eigo koza [Prange Call Number: LB-11_v.1] Many of Braille Books are in a very fragile condition like this spine.
This is one type of custom made boxes.
Tenji no tomo [Prange Call Number ZT-19]
ZT-19: There are CCD documents along with a braille book and a manuscript.
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.
Tenji no tomo Vol. 8, No. 1 [Prange Call Number: ZT-03]
ZT-03: Document “(Poem disapproved – …”)
ZT-03: Tabel of Contents. “Haiku and Tanka” section received “DISAPPROVED” censorship action.
ZT-03: Front cover of manuscript. “Post censorship Translation examined 1-9-46 1 “haiku” poem disapproved”
ZT-03: “Delete” marking on the braille book.
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.
In early November 2013, the Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD) and its Japanese staff were the subject of NHK’s Today’s Close-up. In the program, Dr. Taketoshi Yamamoto, who leads the Institute of Intelligence Studies, explained the work of the CCD, particularly the censorship of mail communications. A short excerpt from the show and the full transcript are available on the NHK Online website. The roster of Japanese nationals who worked for the CCD is available on the Institute of Intelligence Studies website.
The Prange Collection holdings are comprehensive, with magazines, newspapers, and books covering virtually all subjects. One of the strengths of the collection, however, is popular, non-academic publications addressing home life, recreation, the arts, and sports. With 138 magazine titles and approximately 210 books in the collection related to sports, the world of athletics during the Occupation is well documented. (See this post for the important role that baseball played in U.S.-Japan relations during the Occupation period.)
The Olympics After a twelve-year hiatus during World War II, the summer Olympics resumed in 1948. Japan, due to its role in the War, was not invited. The Prange Collection has two books on the Olympics, both published in 1948 (see below). In one, the author laments the fact that the 1940 games had been scheduled for Tokyo, games that would not take place. In 1964, in a vastly different Japan, transformed by war and occupation, Tokyo finally hosted the summer Olympics. And now, in 2020, Tokyo is preparing for a repeat performance!
Prange Call Number GV-0109 “オリンピック讀本” (讀賣スポーツ編集部編, 1948)
Prange Call Number GV-0108 “オリンピック物語” (織田幹雄, 1948)
To get in the mood for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, here are few examples of Prange magazines related to winter sports.
Prange Call Number G277, “Gekkan Sports” (vol. 2, 2/20/1948)
G277, 2/20/1948, CCD document 1
G277, 2/20/1948, CCD document 2
G277, 2/20/1948, CCD document 3
Takashi Yanase (February 6, 1919 – October 13, 2013), a manga artist, illustrator and poet, was best known for the manga and anime series, “Anpanman.” In his late 20s and early 30s, Yanase worked at Kochi Shimbun (高知新聞), first as an illustrator of inserts and front covers for Gekkan kochi (月刊高知, Prange Collection Call Number G192) and later as its manga writer. The Prange Collection holds some of his early works in Gekkan kochi, including the following (click for a larger image):
- Gekkan kochi 3, no. 2 (1948)
- Gekkan kochi 3, no. 9 (1948)
- Gekkan kochi 4, no. 5 (1949)
- Gekkan kochi 4, no. 9 (1949)
Some examples of Yanase’s inserts and comics:
- “レンサイマンガ ミス高知” Gekkan kochi 1, no. 4 (1946): 31
- “姉妹（二場）” Gekkan kochi 2, no. 5 (1947): 30, 32
- “自由の扉” Gekkan kochi 2, no. 6 (1947): 6-9
- “探偵マンガ 接吻殺人事件” Gekkan kochi 2, no. 11 (1947): 12-13
- “素晴らしき日曜日” Gekkan kochi 4, no. 1 (1946) : 19
- “望みなきにあらず” Gekkan kochi 3, no. 7 (1948) : 14
- “慌てたダイビング” Gekkan kochi 3, no. 7 (1948) : 22
- “ヤナセ・タカシ漫画集 影の奇跡；エロ繪画取締り；山のスリル” Gekkan kochi 4, no. 7 (1949) : 24
Some examples of his illustrations and writing:
- “エロについて” Gekkan kochi 3, no. 8 (1948) : 2
- “無名漫畫家の手記” Gekkan kochi 3, no. 7 (1948) : 18
The following short excerpts from “無名漫畫家” give us insight into Yanase as a young illustrator:
Hutchinson, Rachael. 2013. Negotiating censorship in modern Japan. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
Of the twelve chapters in Negotiating Censorship in Modern Japan (ed. Rachael Hutchinson, Routledge Contemporary Japan Series no. 45), four were written by scholars who have done research in the Prange Collection. They are:
Jonathan Abel, “Seditious obscenity/obscene seditions: the radical eroticism of Umehara Hokumei.”
Eleanor Kerkham, “Censoring Tamura Taijiro’s Biography of a Prostitute (Shunpuden).”
Noriko Akimoto Sugimori, “Censoring imperial honroifics: a linguistic analysis of Occupation censorship in newspapers and literature.”
Kirsten Cather, “Parodying the censor and censoring parody in modern Japan.”
Kerkham’s and Sugimori’s articles address censorship during the Allied Occupation.
Congratulations to the following recipients of the 20th Century Japan Research Awards for 2013-2014:
Julia Bullock, Emory University, for the topic, ”Co-education in Japan under Allied Occupation.”
Deokhyo Choi, Cambridge University, for the topic, “Crucible of the Post-Empire: Decolonization, Race, and Cold War Politics in U.S.-Japan-Korea Relations, 1945-1952.”
Emer O’Dwyer, Oberlin College, for the topic, “Searching for ‘Truth’ in Occupation-Era Magazines.”
The Award, first offered in 1999, is co-sponsored by the Nathan and Jeanette Miller Center for Historical Studies and the University of Maryland Libraries.
Each year these partners accept applications for grants to support research in the Gordon W. Prange and East Asia Collections on topics related to the period of the Allied Occupation of Japan and its aftermath, 1945-1960.
Holders of a Ph.D. or an equivalent degree are eligible to apply, as are graduate students who have completed all requirements for the doctorate except the dissertation. The competition is open to scholars in all parts of the world and from any discipline, but historical topics are preferred.
See this page for more details about the Award.
On October 31, Professor Michele Mason, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Maryland, brought 13 students from her Readings in Japanese Cultural Studies class (JAPN 402) to the Prange Collection. The objective of the class is to strengthen reading skills while studying crucial Japanese historical events, trends, and figures of the modern period. The class was given a tour, which gave the students a sense of the size and scope of the collection and exposed many of them to an archive for the first time. The students were clearly impressed by the wide range of materials in the collection, including cook books, textbooks, Braille books, posters, magazines, and newspapers. Professor Mason also showed the students materials that she had pre-selected on topics covered in class, such as the role of the Emperor, atomic energy, censorship, and gender norms (as represented in children’s magazines).
The students were asked to reflect on their visit by writing a “kansobun (感想文).” Here are a few excerpts from their essays:
- “One of the most remarkable things I learned at the Prange collection tour was how strict censorship of the Japanese flag was, even in such benign places as pictures in children’s books. Actually, it seems as though anything even possibly relatable to Japanese nationalism was expunged from publications during the occupation period, including a poem titled “Flag”, describing the poet’s feelings about his country. Of course, the flag being used in a nationalist sense should definitely have cause the censors to strike it out, but in such oddly simple places, such as a picture of a classroom, it seems extremely overboard, though such a word could be used to describe much of the censorship during that period.”
- “One thing that I found the most interesting was that the CCD was exceptionally sensitive to anything that was related to General MacArthur, even the newspaper article about the wedding of his cousin was not allowed to be published.”
- “The example text I found most interesting though, was a travel diary we were shown during the tour. The reason I found this travel diary so fascinating was because it was just a blank diary that hadn’t even been written in at all by anyone yet. Although I had known ahead of time that anything and everything anyone wanted to publish during this time had to be submitted for censoring, I hadn’t quite realized that this literally meant everything.”
- “One particularly fascinating example text showcased was a brail (sic) copy of John Hersey’s, Hiroshima, made entirely of recycled paper. I had previously studied that, due to the war effort, Japan’s natural resources were greatly regulated and had been depleting in the last years of the war. This book is a first-hand example of how diminished paper supplies were used in publication. Seeing this tangible example gave new meaning to what had previously only been academic study.”