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“Shiroto Engeki” from the Literature-General Section (PN)

Last year, the Prange Collection completed the scanning of 518 items in the Literature-General section (Call numbers in this section start with PN).  One interesting item from that section is “Shiroto Engeki” (=Amateur Play) by Oyama Isao (Tokyo: Maya Shobo, 1947). (Prange Call No. PN-0287)  It consists of two chapters: Chapter 1, “Theory of the amateur play,” and Chapter 2, “Reality of the amateur play.”  It addresses trends in the amateur play world, including its critics, history, effective practices, and stage facilities.

Chapter 1, Section 9, “Amateur Play and New Play,” quoted an order from General Headquarters (GHQ) requiring all scenarios to be submitted to the Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD).  Any mention of censorship was prohibited, so this section was deleted.  Also, Chapter 2, Section 2, “Order of practice,” briefly mentioned censorship; that section as also deleted.  See the images below to compare pages from the galley proofs and the published versions.

The digital images of these books are currently only available onsite in the Prange Collection.  Though a majority of these books are uncatalogued, a basic inventory is also available onsite in the Prange Collection.

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On this day in 1947… (September 18)

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

Control no.:47-loc-0841|Newspaper:Shimbun no Shimbun|Date:9/18/1947|Station:255100|Operator:hl|

Control no.:47-loc-0841|Newspaper:Shimbun no Shimbun|Date:9/18/1947

On September 18, 1947, Shimbun no shimbun submitted an article to the Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD) regarding water damage in the Kanto area caused by Typhoon Kathleen.  (Prange Call No. 47-loc-0841)  In addition to reporting on damages caused by the typhoon, the article addressed coverage of the flooding by Tokyo newspapers.  It was noted that Asahi Shimbun may have been given “special convenience by GHQ” and, therefore, became the “sole possessor of the photographs.”  This section was deleted by the CCD.  The Japanese galley proof read, “朝日紙は現地支局の通信員と本社社會部の大半を動員している…(中略) GHQ側より特別の便宜を與えて貰つたのか、十六日附に水害地の空中寫眞を載せた、各社ひとしく待望するところであつたが、朝日の獨占になり、寫眞面では他を壓した.”  The underlined section was marked for deletion.

The Japanese galley proof is available onsite in the Prange Collection and onsite at the National Diet Library of Japan (NDL) through NDL’s Digital Collection.

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A Talk by Dr. Miriam Kingsberg (University of Colorado Boulder)

blog_kingsberg_talk-flyerDr. Miriam Kingsberg, Associate Professor of History at the University of Colorado Boulder and recipient of a 20th Century Japan Research Award, will give a talk on “The Field Generation: Japanese Human Scientists in the Transwar World” on Thursday, September 29, 12:30-1:30pm in 2120 Francis Scott Key Hall, University of Maryland.

The event is free and open to the public. This event is co-sponsored by the University of Maryland Libraries and the Nathan and Jeanette Miller Center for Historical Studies. Lunch will be served. Please RSVP to 301-405-4299 or  millercenter@umd.edu to reserve your lunch.

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Call for Applications: 20th Century Japan Research Awards, 2016-2017

The Nathan and Jeanette Miller Center for Historical Studies and the University of Maryland Libraries invite applications for two $1,500 grants to support research in the library’s Gordon W. Prange Collection and East Asia Collection on topics related to the period of the Allied Occupation of Japan and its aftermath, 1945-1960.  Holders of the 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. University of Maryland faculty, staff, and students may not apply.

The application deadline is November 18, 2016.  The grant must be used by October 27, 2017.

For more information about the Award, please see this page.

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Advertisements in children’s magazines

Sometimes the advertisements in the Prange Collection magazines are as telling about the time period as the magazine articles.  Below are some examples of advertisements on the back covers of several children’s magazines.  Not surprisingly, there are many advertisements for pencils, dictionaries, and crayons.  There are also advertisements for a harmonica and a portable radio.



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Reports from the Mayo Oral Histories Interns

The Prange Collection is currently processing the Marlene J. Mayo Oral Histories. Undergraduate student interns assist with this effort.  As part of the internship, the students are required to write a research paper.  Though the paper does not have to be related to the Occupation period, often the students are inspired by the Mayo Oral Histories and choose to write about this time period.  In Spring Semester 2016, two interns, Michele Glazer and Amina Manguera, worked in the Prange Collection.  Below, they reflect on their experience and discuss their research papers.

Michele Glazer

Arriving at the Gordon W. Prange Collection, I am sad to say I knew little about the Allied Occupation of Japan. However, once I began reading the transcripts and listening to the audio of the Mayo Oral Histories, I started to become intrigued by the personal experience of those associated with the occupation. For the internship, I was tasked to write the biographies for the interviewees with the last names J through Z. When I got to W, something stood out to me.

I read and listened to the Carrington Williams interview. Williams was a defense lawyer during the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. As I listened to him talk about his experience, I realized he was discussing defending Japanese war criminals. I was intrigued. What prompted Americans to defend Japanese war criminals when Japan was considered the “enemy” during World War Two? And not only defend them, but defend them with passion, truly believing many of the men to be innocent of the charges against them?

I told Dr. Marlene Mayo about my interest and she suggested I read the book Defending the Enemy: Justice for the WWII Japanese War Criminals. The book is a memoir written by Elaine Fischel, the defense secretary for William Logan and John Brannon. Fischel’s memoir led me to John Brannon’s papers available online through Georgetown University. Looking at her memoir, his letters, and the oral histories, I began to try and understand Americans working for the defense side during the trial.

Heavily based off research from primary source material, my paper argues that many of the American defense lawyers felt that working on the defense team was part of their role in democratizing Japan and helping the occupation efforts. The lawyers employed the Anglo-Saxon judicial way in order to uphold American ideals and showcase the functionality of the democratic system. By doing do, they approached the defense using the concepts of “justice is blind” and “innocent until proven guilty.” Approaching the trials with this mentality led Americans to work passionately and diligently for the defense team, allowing them to view the defendants no longer as the “enemy” but instead as the “client”, and thus as individual humans worthy of justice.

Amina Manguera

For my internship research paper, I evaluated the roles of women’s rights activists, Ichikawa Fusae and Beate Sirota, and General Douglas MacArthur in the movement to secure the right to vote and, more generally, to secure equal rights for women in Japan during the Occupation.  I chose this topic because I was originally interested in Sirota’s influence on the Constitution and from there I expanded my research on women’s equality and the right to vote. My primary sources included the articles that Sirota wrote for the Constitution and her oral history, the Postdam Declaration, microfilm of the Nippon Times from 1945, and the Meiji Constitution. When I first started looking at the documents,  I thought General MacArthur had the largest role in the push for gender equality because many secondary sources connected him and the Constitution with names like “MacArthur’s Constitution”.  As I continued my research, my views changed and I started to lean toward the women who advocated for the vote and the important role Sirota played on the drafting subcommittee. MacArthur played a crucial role, as well, because of the opportunity he created for Japan to draft their own Constitution and then taking over the drafting process when they failed to meet his expectations. While all roles were significant, my paper focuses on which role was the determining factor for the vote and equality and I believe it’s the women, Fusae and Sirota.

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The Japan-America Student Conference (JASC) Visit

On August 13, 2016, the Prange Collection and Special Collections and University Archives welcomed over 70 students participating in the 68th Japan-America Student Conference (JASC).  The students were greeted by Dr. Joseph Scholten, Associate Director of the University of Maryland’s Office of International Affairs, and then introduced to two unique collections in the University of Maryland Libraries: the JASC Archives and the Gordon W. Prange Collection.

The students paired up to explore materials from the JASC Archives — including photographs, conference materials, posters, and brochures — that document the history of the organization.  In the Prange Collection, the students viewed a display of posters, magazines, news agency photographs, and censored materials.  After both sessions, the students shared their impressions with the rest of the group.