Leave a comment

An Interview with Julius Bassin from the Marlene J. Mayo Oral Histories

This post is a part of series featuring interviews from the Marlene J. Mayo Oral Histories.  Currently, 28 interview transcripts are available online.  The remainder are available onsite in the reading room for Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Maryland. For other posts in this series, see this page. 

Bassin_pictureJulius (Jules) Bassin (1914 – 2009) was an American lawyer, a member of the Foreign Service, and a State Department representative. In 1945, he joined General Douglas MacArthur’s legal staff in Tokyo, negotiating the Treaty of Peace with Japan. He left the Army in 1946 to serve as Chief of the Law Division of GHQ/SCAP and remained in that position until the end of the Occupation. In 1952, he joined the State Department as Legal Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.

Bassin was interviewed by Marlene Mayo, then Japan Historian at the University of Maryland, on October 2 and October 9, 1979.  The interview transcripts are available here.

In 2015, N. Jay Bassin, son of Julius Bassin, donated additional materials related to his father’s life before, during, and immediately after his stay in Japan during the Occupation.  Included in this acquisition are photograph albums and invitation cards that are available in the University of Maryland Libraries Digital Collections and home movies. For more information about the home movies, which are currently unprocessed, contact us.

Leave a comment

On this day in 1947… (July 5) – NHK Radio drama, “Kane no naru oka,” made its debut

The broadcast of NHK’s radio drama, “Kane no naru oka/鐘の鳴る丘,” began on this day in 1947.  Here are several materials related to “Kane no naru oka.”

The first item is a magazine article entitled, “NHK: Kane no naru oka: Stajio kengaku/NHK: 鐘の鳴る丘: スタジオ見学 (NHK: Kane no naru oka: Studio Visit),” in “Aoba/あおば” on October 1, 1948. (Vol. 3, No. 10, p. 58 – Prange Call No. A255) An illustration depicts how they made sound effects, as well as the location of the organ for music.

Unlike Aoba, the second item is a technical magazine, “Hoso Gijutsu/放送技術” (Broadcasting Technology), published on September 1, 1948 (Vol. 1, No. 6, pp. 26-28 – Prange Call No. H797).  The content is similar to the article in Aoba. It describes the layout of studio with pictures and illustrations.  It also includes a portion of the scripts.

The last item is the music score of the show’s theme song, “Tongari boshi/とんがり帽子,” which was a huge hit at the time.  The score was printed on the back cover of the music magazine, “Keiongaku to Eiga/軽音楽と映画 (Light Music and Movie).  (Vol. 3, No. 4, 4/1/1948 – Prange Call No. K725)

Leave a comment

Independence Day Poster

Happy 4th of July!

This poster was a special edition of “School News Digest” dedicated to Independence Day in the United States.  It was created by the S.N.D. Agency for educational purposes and published by Nihon Kenkyusha/日本研究社 in June 1946. (click the image to enlarge) In addition to an historical timeline at the top, the graphic map of the United States is illustrated with regional products.  Perhaps most interesting, is the timeline of inventions at the bottom, which begins with the steamboat in 1806 and ends with the use of the atomic bomb in 1945.

According to the note at the bottom of the poster, all of the photographs used in this poster were provided by the Civil Information and Education Section (C.I. & E.).

This poster has been digitized and is available in the Prange Collection. Please contact us if you would like to see it.

Leave a comment

The Prange Collection Blog is 5 Years Old!

July 1, 2018, marked the 5th anniversary of the launch of the Prange Collection blog!  In that time, we’ve published 316 posts. Our outreach initiative, which began with the blog, now includes Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr and YouTube.  Our sincere gratitude goes to our readers.  As we head into our sixth year, we hope that you’ll continue to enjoy our posts.

The staff of the Prange Collection


Here are some statistics from the past 5 years.

[Access Ranking]

  1. Hanako Muraoka, Translator of “Anne of Green Gables”
  2. The Process of Censorship: Sample documents
  3. Victor Delnore Papers
  4. Helen Keller in Japan
  5. How do I create an account in Aeon (the new online material request system)?

[Search Terms]

  1. hanako muraoka
  2. tatsuzo ishikawa
  3. how japanese control media and literature
  4. dc weather
  5. japanese swimmer called the flying fish

[Access Referrers] 

  1. Google
  2. LibGuide (Prange Collection’s research guide)
  3. Prange Collection Blog (Japanese page)
  4. Facebook
  5. Twitter

[User location] 

  1. United States
  2. Japan
  3. United Kingdam
  4. Canada
  5. France
Leave a comment

Featured magazines published in Miyazaki Prefecture

This post is Part XIII 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 Miyazaki Prefecture.

Danchi Nogaku/暖地農學 is an academic journal edited by Miyazaki Norin Senmon Gakko Danchi Nogaku Kenkyukai/宮崎農林専門学校・暖地農学研究会.  It was published by Kiku Shobo/菊書房 in October 1948.  The English titles of the articles are listed on the back cover.




Kokutetsu Rodo Kumiai Miyazaki Shibu/国鉄労働組合宮崎支部 (National Railway Workers’ Union’s Miyazaki Prefecture Branch Office) published Danketsu/だんけつ in May 1949.  The Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD) examiner marked three passages as “Disapproved” for the following reasons: “Indirect Criticism to U.S.A,” “Propaganda,” and “Leftist.”

  • 動向. [3号(1949年7月)]. (Call No. D-249)

Doko/動向 was published by Shokuin Kumiai Bunkabu/職員組合文化部 at the Miyazaki City Office.  Employees from various divisions in the City Office, such as the Welfare Division or the Education Division, submitted their essays and poems. There is no CCD document accompanying this issue. The stamp on the front cover reads, “Spot Checked.”

Leave a comment

On this day in 1948… (June 17)

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

On June 17, 1948, Yomiuri Shimbun submitted an article to the Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD) about the contract between the Foreign Trade Agency/貿易庁 (part of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry) and Ford Motor Company.  The contract addressed importing Ford cars (1949 models) to Japan.  (Prange Call No. 48-loc-2314).

According to the article, the Empire Automobile Company would begin importing the cars to Japan as early as July 1948.  The estimated selling price of the car in Japan would be a little over $2,000.  Though no explanation was given, this article was suppressed.

The digital images of the Japanese galley proof of this article are available onsite in the Prange Collection and in the National Diet Library of Japan’s Digital Collection.

Leave a comment

Preservation topic: Unstapling of books prior to scanning

Many books in the Prange Collection are bound using side staples.  In order to fully capture the text and to minimize damage during scanning, some of the books are unstapled.  Below, a Prange Collection staff member shows you how it’s done.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.