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Featured labor-related item: “Rodo kyoyaku to dantai kosho”

In conjunction with the exhibition, “For Liberty, Justice, and Equality: Unions Making History in America,we will be featuring labor-related materials from the Prange Collection. The exhibit, which draws upon materials from the labor collections in Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Maryland, will be on display in the Maryland Room Gallery on the 1st Floor of Hornbake Library North through July 2018.

Rodo kyoyaku to dantai kosho/勞働協約と團體交涉 [Labor Agreement and Collective Bargaining] by Matsui Shichiro/松井七郎  (Prange Call No. HD-0721) was published in 1948.  It addressed the value of collective bargaining when drafting trade agreements.  The galley proof that was submitted to Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD) for review included a preface written by William H. McPherson, a former member the Labor Advisory Committee of GHQ/SCAP.  That preface was deleted by the CCD, as were all other references to collaboration with GHQ Labor Division personnel.  See the excerpts below from the published version and from the galley proof with censorship markings.

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Featured magazines published in Nagasaki Prefecture

This post is Part X in a continuing series on a portion of the Prange magazine collection that is now available in digital form onsite at the National Diet Library of Japan (NDL). (See the series in Featured Magazines.) 

In this post, we are featuring magazines published in Nagasaki Prefecture.

同志. [1号(1949年3月)] (Call No. D-295)

  • 同志. [1号(1949年3月)] (Call No. D-295)

The inaugural issue of Doshi/同志 was published in March 1949 by Sasebo Shoko Koto Gakko Kogyobu Denkika Doshikai/佐世保商工高等学校工業部電気科同志会.  It was a classroom newsletter that covered a variety of topics and included essays and a quiz.  It encouraged the involvement of all of the students, which was reflected in a report on how the name of the newsletter was decided.  This is the only issue held in the Prange Collection. It is unclear whether there were subsequent issues.  Accompanying this issue is a piece of an envelope that contained correspondence from the editor to the Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD).

  • 血潮. [1号(1948年3月)] (Call No. C-126)

Goto Seinen Minshu Hyoronkai/五島青年民主評論会 published Chishio/血潮 in March 1948.  It included a message from E. N. Meldal, who worked in the Education Department of the Nagasaki Military Government.  He also wrote a short essay about an exchange between a Japanese antique store owner and a GI.

  • 団結. [1巻1号(1948年8月)-5・6号(1949年8月)] (Call No. D-96)
  • 地区労. [1号(1948年8月)] (Call No. C-83)

Danketsu/団結 was a labor union newsletter published by Sasebo Kowan Rodo Kumiai/佐世保港湾労働組合.  The first issue was marked with “1 Info” by the censor.  There were also a few check marks and a note stating, “Introduction of foreign capital into Japan” in the essay, “Analyzing Inflation after the War.”  The second issue is formatted more like a newspaper.

In the first issue of Chikuro/地区労, the censor also wrote “1 Info” on the essay, “Make Shipping Industry Socialized.”

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An Interview with Sydney Brown from the Marlene J. Mayo Oral Histories

This post is the fouth in a series featuring interviews from the Marlene Mayo Oral Histories.  Currently, 29 of the oral history transcripts are available online.  The remainder are available onsite in the Maryland Room, the reading room for Special Collections at the University of Maryland.  For other featured posts, see this page

(image courtesy of Professor Marlene Mayo)

Sidney Brown (1925-2010), Professor of East Asian History with a specialization in nineteenth-century Japanese history, was interviewed by Professor Marlene Mayo on March 26, 1983.   Mayo was particularly interested in his experiences at the Japanese Language School at the University of Colorado, where Navy and Marine personnel were trained for duty in the Pacific during World War II.  Though Brown did not serve in Japan during the Occupation, many of his fellow students at the Japanese Language School did.

Brown attended Southwestern College, but his undergraduate education was interrupted by World War II.  At age 17, he joined the Navy and entered the V-12 Navy College Training Program, through which he was able to continue his education. He was recruited for the Japanese Language School by General Hindmarsh.  From 1943 to 1946 he completed the 14-month intensive course in Japanese,  which sparked his interest in Japanese history.  After the war, he continued his education at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he received a Ph.D. in 1952. He taught at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater from 1952 to 1971 and at the University of Oklahoma from 1971 until his retirement in 1995.

The transcript of the interview with Professor Brown can be found here.

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Thanksgiving holidays (2017)

The Prange Collection will be closed from Wednesday, November 22 through Sunday, November 26 for the Thanksgiving holidays.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

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Featured magazines published in Niigata Prefecture

This post is Part IX in a continuing series on a portion of the Prange magazine collection that is now available in digital form onsite at the National Diet Library of Japan (NDL). (See the series in Featured Magazines.) 

In this post, we are featuring magazines published in Niigata Prefecture.

  • 団欒. [[2回](1947年10月)].  (Call No. D-102)
  • 越後連山. [[2号](1947年?月)]. (Call No. E-4)

Danran/団欒 was an annual newsletter published by Nakasato Seinendan/中里青年団.  Included in the publication were essays entitled, “Noson keizai to seikatsu kaizen/農村経済と生活改善” [Agricultural Village Economic and Improved Living] and “Saiken no otakebi/再建の雄叫び” [Craving Re-construction].

Echigo renzan/越後連山 was published by Nikkei Roso Niigata Shibu/日輕労組新潟支部.  In one issue, the editor expressed regret that there were no essay submissions from women.  He called on female readers to be more involved in social movements, such as the labor union movement, by exercising their rights as equals to men.

  • 怒涛. [1号(1947年8月)-9号(1948年9月)]. (Call No. D-315)

Nihon Sutenresu Naoetsu Kogyo’s labor union published the inaugural issue of  Doto/怒涛 in August 1947.  It celebrated the fact that all members of the factory played an important role in creating the publication, stating:


The magazine consisted of poems and essays by labor union members.  The first and second issues were printed on poor quality paper (see the image below at left). However, by the fifth issue (seen in the bottom-right of the same image), the front cover was printed in color and the number of pages dramatically increased.  According to the Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD) document that accompanied this publication, the circulation for the second issue was 79.

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Interview with Robert Hegwood, Research Award Recipient

Each year, the recipients of the 20th Century Japan Research Awards visit the University of Maryland to use the materials in the Gordon W. Prange Collection.  They often spend a week or more on campus.  They are interviewed at the end of their stay about their research experience.

Mr. Hegwood in the Maryland Room.

One of the two recipients of the award for 2016-2017 is Robert Hegwood, a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Pennsylvania.  He is currently writing his dissertation on, “The Social Foundations for Growth: Nikkei Brokers and Japan in the Global Imaginary, 1930-1965.”  His research examines the intermediary role Japanese communities in America played in campaigns by Japanese corporations and the foreign ministry to improve American perceptions of Japan and its products, resulting in a little-studied Japan boom in postwar America.


How did you learn about the research award, and why did you apply for it?

I had used some of the Prange collection microfilm during my Fulbright year and again during a research trip to UCLA. One of my dissertation committee members, Jessamyn Abel at Pennsylvania State University, recommended the research award because it had been useful for her research on the bullet train in Japan. I applied because my research in Japan on the intermediary role of Japanese Americans in restarting US-Japan trade and public diplomacy between 1945 and 1965 left two questions unanswered. First, how did the Japanese trade and diplomatic officials that worked with Japanese Americans to reshape postwar American public opinion on Japan and its products see overseas Japanese? Moreover, how did Japanese communities in America fit in with the visions of a new Japan driving the reconstruction of Japanese society, industry, and foreign relations? I thought a look at some magazines in the Prange collection touching on immigration issues and trade promotion could help clarify this part of the story.

What motivated you to focus on this research topic?

I was first drawn to issues of race in American society as an undergraduate, particularly the politics of exclusion in the early-to-mid-twentieth century. During a course on East Asian history, I discovered that if you want to study the same issues of race on a global level, Japan makes an interesting test case. They were genuine victims of racial discrimination in the form of immigration restriction, but perpetuated the global hierarchies of race in order to be seen as the one advanced race in Asia, a sort of global model minority. From then on, I had an interest in Japan. So, I learned Japanese from scratch in a few years while doing master’s degree coursework. Because I was unprepared to do primary research in Japanese for my thesis, I wrote a history of the local Japanese American community in Portland, Oregon, following their wartime internment. Throughout my education, I have been interested in transnational frameworks for history and have been slowly getting closer and closer to Japan.

Which material in the Prange Collection left the biggest impression on you?

There were two things that really struck me about the collection: its size and the censorship marks. Other than the National Diet Library, there are few places that hold resources for Japanese historians across thematic and disciplinary interests. Just scrolling through the excel-file lists of titles is a time-consuming process. Because of the sheer volume of the collection and its short geographic scope, one really gets a broad perspective on Japan at a moment of possibility and transition. This perspective differs greatly from the sense imparted by following specific trends over long periods of time. Though censorship is largely outside of the scope of my dissertation, seeing certain articles marked up in red pencil with censorship reports attached is fascinating. Many of these marks also present mysteries. For instance, the galley proofs of a book on Japanese Americans had all references to Japanese Americans in the US armed forces as adherents of bushidō, the fabricated martial ideology, penciled out. Clearly, US authorities sought to portray these soldiers as ideologically American, but were there really Japanese equating them with samurai?  The marks not only raise questions about American governance, but also give you a sense of both the bright and dark portions of Japanese public imagination of that era.

How would you describe the research experience at the University of Maryland Libraries?  Do you have any suggestions for fellow researchers using the collection?

I had an excellent experience researching at the University of Maryland. Prange collection staff were extremely helpful in pointing out the research databases and other tools I needed to request documents before arrival. Once on site, the Maryland Room staff facilitated my perusal of files and microfiche, while Yukako and Kana of the Prange staff kindly pulled files for me continually throughout the week. That allowed me a great amount of flexibility to follow up on leads I found earlier in the week. I highly recommend creating an a fairly exhaustive list of authors and historical figures before arriving at the collection. Because the reading room does not have Japanese reference material this work should definitely be done prior to visiting. Keyword searches in the relevant databases reveal a certain number of articles, but I found that searching by author name was a much more productive method for tracking down sources in the collection.

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On this day in 1947… (November 1)

This post is a part of continuing series on the Censored Newspaper Articles (CNAs).

On November 1, 1947, Nihon Keizai Shimbun submitted an article to the Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD) about the increased cultivation of sugar cane in Okayama, Hiroshima, Kagawa, and Tokushima Prefectures.  (Prange Call No. 47-loc-1520) According to the article, many farmers were converting their rice and wheat fields to sugar cane fields.  Rice and wheat were strictly controlled and rationed by the government, and sugar cane could easily be sold on the black market in the Kansai area at a much higher price. Several passages in the article were marked for deletion, particularly where it mentioned the price of sugar on the black market.

Click on the images below to read the CCD document associated with this article. The digital images of the Japanese galley proof with the headline, “甘い汁を吸いたがる農家 良田もつぶしてふえる砂糖きびの栽培,” are available onsite in the Prange Collection and in the National Diet Library of Japan’s Digital Collection.