Leave a comment

On this day in 1948.. (March 17)

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

On March 17, 1948, Yomiuri Shimbun submitted an article to the Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD) regarding a recent trend in learning foreign languages.  This article was held first, but then passed the censorship.  (Prange Call No. 48-loc-0472)

Although many people are still interested in English , it is no longer the only foreign language people want to learn; rather, many are now intrigued in mastering Spanish.  The article reports that the departments of Spanish and Filipino in several foreign language schools are “perplexed at the floods of applications.”  Meanwhile, there is a significant decrease in the numbers of applications in the Mongolian, Italian and Russian departments.  For instance, the Tokyo Foreign Language School (東京外事専門学校) received 1,200 applications in the English Department (capacity: 60 students), and 274 applications in the Spanish Department (capacity: 30 students).  The article predicts that this high interest in Spanish is due to the anticipations in the wider trade opportunities in the South America after the Peace Conference.

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.

Leave a comment

Spring Break Closure 2017

The Prange Collection will be closed from Monday, March 20 through Friday, March 24 for the University of Maryland Spring Break.

We will resume our postings in late March.

Leave a comment

Featured Publication: A Friend in Need: Esther B. Rhoads, Quakers, and Humanitarian Relief in Allied Occupied Japan, 1946–52 [U.S.-Japan Women’s Journal: Nov. 2016]

us japan women's journalProfessor Marlene J. Mayo, Associate Professor Emerita of the Department of History, University of Maryland, published an article in the U.S.-Japan Women’s Journal in November 2016.  The article title is A Friend in Need: Esther B. Rhoads, Quakers, and Humanitarian Relief in Allied Occupied Japan, 1946–52.”  Esther B. Rhoads was assigned to be one of the representatives for the Licensed Agencies for Relief in Asia (LARA) in 1946.

Leave a comment

Award Recipients Selected (20th Century Japan Research Awards: 2016-2017)

Congratulations to the following recipients of the 20th Century Japan Research Awards for 2016-2017:

  • Jonathan Bull, Assistant Professor at Hokkaido University  – “Settling the unsettled: history and memory in the construction of the Karafuto repatriate”
  • Robert A. Hegwood, Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Pennsylvania – “Diasporic Diplomacy: The intermediary role that Japanese Americans (Nikkei) played in a grassroots campaign to change American perceptions of postwar Japan”

Dr. Jonathan Bull

Mr. Robert Hegwood


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.

Leave a comment

War Orphans and Homeless Children

In the aftermath of World War II, tens of thousands of Japanese children were orphaned.  They had lost their parents in fire bombings and the atomic bombings; they were separated from their parents during repatriation from former Japanese colonies; and many were simply lost in the chaos that resulted from the physical and economic devastation of Japan. There was little government support for these children.  They often lived on the streets, surviving on sheer scrappiness — shining shoes, selling newspapers, begging, and stealing.  The Prange Collection contains materials by and about war orphans.  Below are a few examples.


『戦災孤児の記録』 (A Record of War Orphans) edited by 島田正蔵、田宮虎彦 (Shimada Shōzō, Tamiya Torahiko), 1947, pp. 35-36. Published by 文明者出版部 (Bunmeisha Shuppanbu) [Prange Call no. D-0652] The book includes 30 short essays written by war orphans who were admitted to Hagiyama Gakuen (a facility for war orphans). Below is a translation of one of the essays.

『父と母を思う』(Thinking of Father and Mother) by 中林博 (Hiroshi Nakabayashi), 3rd grader [age 8 or 9 years old]
My mother was killed in the air raid of March 1945 when I was in second grade. I missed her very much and I was awfully lonely. Since then I was always thinking of her, even while I went begging. Then, an American took care of me about two weeks until he went back to his country. So, I needed to be a beggar again. I could not help thinking of my mother whenever I went begging. Then I went to Tokyo. A person brought me home and I stayed there around two weeks. Then, I moved to Kōjimachi Temporary Shelter where I spent a few days and came to Hagiyama Gakuen. When the principal asked me a lot of questions, I cried a little. I was so upset that I almost said, ―mother – out loud. I have been thinking of my father and mother since then. I wish my mother were alive and stayed with me.

『童子抄』 (Essay on Children) by 齋藤喜博 (Saitō Kihaku), 1946. Published by 古今書房 (Kokon Shobō) [Prange Call no. 403-0063]

「クローズ・アップされた社会層の断面」 (―Close-up of Cross-section of Social Strata‖) in『クローズ・アップ』 (Close-up) edited by 永井嘉一 (Nagai Kaichi), 1948, p.15. Published by 硏光社(Kenkōsha) [Prange Call no. GV-0350c]


「忘れられた戦災孤児」 (―Forgotten War Orphans‖) by 加藤シズエ (Katō Shizue) in 『週刊朝日』(The Asahi Weekly), vol. 49, no. 1, July, 1946, pp. 12-13. Published by 朝日新聞社 (Asahi Shinbunsha) [Prange Call no. S-2321]

Robert P. Schuster Photograph

rs-0322RS-0322: With the description, “These Jap kids are always eager to pose for pictures. Note the ruin Osaka, Japan Aug. 46.” written by Schuster on the back of photograph.  From the Robert P. Schuster Photograph Collection.


Leave a comment

UMD Class Visit (HIST 483) – Spring 2017

On February 28, 2017, the Prange Collection welcomed a class of over 30 students from HIST483, “Modern Japan”, taught by Dr. C.R. Lilley of the UMD History Department.

img_2558Yukako Tatsumi, the Curator of the Prange Collection, began the session with an overview of censorship conducted by the Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD). She walked the students through the Code for the Japanese Press, the guiding principles for censorship during the Allied Occupation, and showed examples of publications from the Prange Collection that had been censored for three “taboo subjects”: References to Censorship, the Atomic Bomb, and Militaristic Propaganda.

img_2562Amy Wasserstrom, the Manager of the Prange Collection, then gave a presentation on the drafting of the Constitution of Japan, enacted in 1947. She drew on materials from Prange gift collections, including the Charles L. Kades Papers and the Marlene J. Mayo Oral Histories. Kades, then Deputy Director of the Government Section of SCAP, was Chairman of the Steering Committee responsible for drafting a new constitution for the Japanese. His papers include successive drafts of the Constitution in English and Japanese, as well as memoranda and minutes documenting the process as it unfolded. Beate Sirota Gordon was the only women involved in writing the Constitution. An interview with Sirota Gordon is included in the Marlene J. Mayo Oral Histories.

Leave a comment

Constitution: Children’s Books and Magazines

This is the second in a series on the Japanese Constitution of 1947.  See also the Constitution Series

The Constitution took effect on May 3, 1947 and is still in effect today.  As we approach the 70th anniversary of its enactment, we’ll share with you materials from the Prange Collection related to the drafting of the Constitution, its enactment, reactions of the Japanese, and observances of Constitution Day.

Democratizing Japan involved educating the populace, especially the children, who would be responsible for the future of Japan.  The new Constitution of 1947 (also referred to as the Peace Constitution) embodied democratic principles.  Included in the Prange Collection are primers and magazine articles for children explaining the meaning of the Constitution.  Some of the materials target older children and go into detail about the origin, significance, and new systems related to the Constitution; others are picture books for young children.  Below are some examples.