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Albert W. Hilberg ABCC Photographs and Reports

Albert W. Hilberg, M.D. was a physician member of the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC). The Albert W. Hilberg ABCC Photographs and Reports consist of 48 photographs of Hiroshima before and after the atomic bombing and 41 reports of the ABCC.

The Albert W. Hilberg ABCC Photographs are available through the University of Maryland Libraries Digital Collections.  The ABCC Reports are available onsite at the Prange Collection.  Please note that these photographs may not be unique to the Prange Collection and may likely be held in National Archives (NARA) and/or other libraries, such as theNational Library of Medicine.

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Digitization of the Censored Newspaper Articles: pre-scanning treatment

This is the second in a series of reports on the Censored Newspaper Articles digitization project.  The first post, “Data Creation”, is available here

Due to a paper shortage during the Occupation of Japan, recycled, acidic paper was used for printing of most publications.  Newsprint, in particular, which is considered ephemeral in the best of times, has held up poorly. The censored newspaper articles, therefore, posed challenges for scanning.  Unlike the Prange Collection books which at times require rehousing after scanning, the censored newspaper articles required prep work prior to scanning, so that the scanning operators could safely handle the materials and could capture as much of the content as possible. Many of the Censored Newspaper Articles, which were scanned between March and December 2014, fall into this category.

Some of the hand-written manuscripts of the newspaper articles were on onion skin paper that has been creased, torn, and crumpled over the years.  Multiple pages were held together with rusted staples or pins or tied with string.  Some of the photographs were fused to other photographs or to documents.  In some cases, the damage couldn’t be fixed, so the items were scanned as is.

The slideshow shows the process of unstapling and separating pages that are glued together.

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Featured Publication: War and Censorship: Rereading Tatsuzo Ishikawa [Michiko Kawahara, Iwanami Shoten, 2015]

BLOG_senso to kenetsuThis book examines a law case in which the high profile novelist, Tatsuzo Ishikawa, is prosecuted for his serialized novel, Solders Alive/Ikite iru Heitai 生きている兵隊 (published in 1938), for violation of the Newspapers Law (Shinbunshi Hō 新聞紙法).  By exploring a number of case documents, newspaper reports, and Ishikawa’s personal notes, this book critically analyzes the meaning of specific passages subject to prosecution, in an attempt to reveal the original intention of Ishikawa’s writing. The novel was eventually published in 1945 after the Newspaper Law was lifted as part of SCAP democratization. At the same time, however, another one of Ishikawa’s novels, Incarnation of Battle (also serialized), was suppressed by the CCD in 1946. Ishikawa and other writers reacted to this suppression with disappointment, realizing that the control of public expression would continue under the new censorship system in postwar Japan. Another famed novelist, Jun Takami, remarked on postwar censorship as follows: “Freedom of speech given by the United States is not applicable to the United States itself.” (p. 231)

Below are the galley proof and CCD documents related to Incarnation of Battle, as it was to appear in the magazine, Shakai.

This blog post is approved by Iwanami Shoten.

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Prange Curator and UCLA Librarian Give Presentation at ALA/ACRL Annual Conference

Yukako Tatsumi, the Prange Collection Curator, and Tomoko Bialock, the UCLA Japanese Studies Librarian, gave a presentation at the AAMES (Asian, African, and Middle East Section) forum of the American Library Association(ALA)/Association of College and Research Libraries(ACRL) Annual Conference.  Their presentation was entitled “Gordon W. Prange Collection: Transpacific Resources, Transnational Studies.” It highlighted the potential for Prange materials to advance transnational studies, which was exemplified by two research works using Prange materials.  Their PowerPoint presentation is below.

The UCLA Library is the only owner of a microform set of magazines and newspapers from the Prange Collection on the West Coast.  The Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies provides travel grants for scholars using the Prange microform set housed at the UCLA Library.  The Prange Collection is dedicated to collaboration with the U.S. institutions holding the Prange microform sets, including UCLA, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, and Yale.

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Digitization of the Censored Newspaper Articles: metadata creation

This post is the first in a series of reports on the Censored Newspaper Articles digitization project. 

In addition to the 18,047 newspaper titles in the Prange Collection that are in published form, the Collection also has approximately 15,000 censored newspaper articles. These are either hand-written manuscripts, print galley proofs, censorship documents, or wired news dispatches.  Metadata creation for the Censored Newspaper Articles (CNA) began in March 2013.  Digitization began in March 2014 and was completed in December 2014.  Access to the digital surrogates of CNAs and the inventory lists are available onsite in the Prange Collection.

The following metadata elements, among others, were compiled for the CNAs:  name of the newspaper/news agency, date of intended publication, date censored, the headline, censorship actions, examiners’ names, and the numbers of pages.

The vast majority of the CNAs fall into two categories — Foreign News and Local News — and cover the years 1947 and 1948 (with a small number from 1945, 1946, 1949).  As far as we can tell, this was the original CCD organization of the articles.  Local News articles were submitted by domestic newspaper  companies or news agencies.  For the most part, they are hand-written or galley proofs of Japanese articles.  Foreign News articles are primarily dispatches in English (with a smattering of other languages, such as Korean, Russian or French) from overseas news agencies, such as the Associated Press or Reuters.  Some of the dispatches are translated into Japanese.

In addition to Local and Foreign News, there are censorship documents issued by the District III Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD) office, which  covered the Kyushu area, and denko nyusu (電光ニュース).

Please contact prangebunko[at]umd.edu for more information.   Sample images of the CNAs are available on our Flickr page.

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Occupation-related digital collections at colleges & universities in the U.S.

The Washington D.C. area is an optimal place to study the Occupation of Japan.  The University of Maryland, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and the Library of Congress have complementary collections that, as a whole, provide an unparalleled window on the immediate post-World War II years in Japan.  Throughout the United States, however, universities and colleges are now making available significant collections related to the Occupation, especially image collections.  We are highlighting five such collections here.  They are freely accessible from anywhere in the world.  No travel required!

The Pacific War Postcards Collection contains 36 postcards sent from Japanese civilians to surrendered Japanese soldiers in the Philippine Islands, Sumatra, and the South Seas.  The postcards were censored by the Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD). Identifiable postmarks range from August 19, 1945 to March 10, 1946.

The Gerald & Rella Warner Japan Slides includes 567 color slides from the personal collection of U.S. State Department official Gerald Warner and his wife Rella Warner. The majority of the slides were produced between 1947 and 1951, during the Allied Occupation, and were taken in various locations across Japan.  Many depict the lives of ordinary Japanese, such as cherry blossom viewing on the bank of a river, a May Day demonstration, or a doll maker’s workshop.  Portraits of political and military figures, such as Douglas MacArthur and Yoshiga Shigeru, are also included.

John W. Bennett was an anthropologist who worked in the Public Opinion and Sociological Research Division (PO&SR) of the Civil Information and Education Section (CIE) of SCAP between 1948 and 1951.  In 1949, he became Chief of the PO&SR.  PO&SR’s mission was to plan, execute, and evaluate studies leading to social reform.  Studies of agricultural land reform, prostitution, local political development, and family structure, among other things, were completed. Bennett’s son, John M. Bennett, curated the digital collection, “Doing Photography and Social Research in the Allied Occupation of Japan, 1948-1951: A Personal and Professional Memoir”, which documents his father’s experiences in Allied Occupied Japan.

Oliver L. Austin, Jr. was Head of the Wildlife Branch of the Fisheries Division in the Natural Resources Section (NRS) of SCAP from 1946 to 1949.  The Oliver L. Austin Images consists of almost 1,000 color slides of postwar Japan under reconstruction.  Highlights include American expatriate life, ordinary Japanese families in Tokyo and in the countryside, and Japanese veterans purveying street entertainments.

Lt. Col. Walter A. Pennino (1915-1998) joined the Occupation Forces in Japan as a press attaché to General MacArthur.  In addition to his military duties, Pennino published articles in the Boston Daily Globe on such topics as women, marriage, and shopping in Japan.  In 1948, as News Chief for MacArthur, he wrote the eyewitness accounts of Tōjō Hideki’s execution.  The eighty photographs in this collection were taken by Pennino in the late 1940s (exact dates are unknown).  They are divided into ten subject areas:  Children, Ceremonies & Festivals, Daily Life, On the Street, Entertainment, Buildings, Women in Kimono, Women at Work, Men at Work, and Repatriated Soldiers.

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Featured magazines – published in Kagoshima-ken

This post is Part III in a continuing series on Prange Collection magazines that are now available in digital form onsite at the National Diet Library of Japan (NDL). (Also see Part I: Kyoto-fu, and Part II: Hokkaido.) 

In this post, we are featuring magazines published in Kagoshima-ken.


“Dowa/どうわ,” published by Kagoshima dowakai/鹿児島童話会, offered a place for local writers of children’s stories to publish their latest works.  “Chosei Gurahu/町勢グラフ” was published by Izaku-cho yakuba tokeigakari/伊作町役場統計係.  This magazine provided detailed statistics about Izaku-cho, such as the number of foreigners living in the town.


  • 同志 [1巻2号(1946年7月)] (Call No. D296)

“Doshi/同志” was also published in Izaku -cho/伊作町 by Izaku-cho Kakushin Doshikai/伊作町革新同志會.  The magazine contained articles on a wide variety of topics, including those related to town business and announcements from town officials, as well as tanka and haiku.

BLOG_magazinesD296cdSeveral sections of the article, “Tennosei gojiron/天皇制護持論” (“Tenno System Maintenance Theory”) Part II, written by Koi Yamanouchi/山之内公威, were marked as violating the Code for the Japanese Press and, therefore, were “Disapproved”.  The image on the left is one of the CCD documents that accompanied the magazine.  Click to enlarge.


  • 怒涛. 詩と論 [1巻1号(1948年4月)] (Call No. D318)
  • 映画研究 [1号(1948年8月)] (Call No. E40)

“Doto/怒涛,” published in 揖宿郡頴娃村/Ibusuki-gun Ei-mura, contained a number of poems written by local poets.

“Eiga kenkyu/映画研究” was published by Kagoshima Gakusei Eiga Renmei/鹿兒島學生映畫連盟 in August 1948.

BLOG_magazinesE40cdAccompanying the inaugural issue was a letter from this student-organized group stating their excitement about publishing this magazine.  In a second letter, which is undated, the group regretfully explains that they will be unable to publish the second issue due to lack of funding.  Click the image on the left to read the two letters.


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