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On this day in 1948… (May 26)

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

Control no.:48-loc-1770|Newspaper:Kyodo Tsushin (118, Shimane)|Date:5/26/1948

On May 26, 1948, Kyodo Tsushin submitted an article to the Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD) about the discovery of one of the largest radium springs in Japan situated at the base of Mt. Sanbe in Shimane Prefecture. The article was “suppressed,” meaning that it was not published at that time. (Prange Call No. 48-loc-1770)

The article reports that several atomic bomb survivors from Hiroshima visited the springs for their healing qualities.  After bathing there for more than ten days, the injuries that they had sustained from the blast were healed and their hair began to grow back. Hearing about this, a professor from Okayama University conducted research on the site and concluded that there was a very high level of radium in the area.  Later, professors from Kyushu University, Kyoto University, and Tokyo University also conducted research on the radium in the springs.   Further animal testing confirmed the healing effects of high levels of radium.

The Japanese handwritten version of this article 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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Newly Acquired Gift Collection: Addition to the Justin Williams Sr. Paper

Tokyo, fall of 1945: 東京一九四五年・秋. (1946). Tokyo: Bunka-sha. and Baker, F. (1949). Jeeper’s Japan. Tokyo, Japan: Toppan.

Justin Williams Sr. was Chief of the Legislative Division (later known as the Parliamentary and Political Division) of GHQ/SCAP during the Occupation of Japan. The Justin Williams, Sr. Papers provide an unequalled view of parliamentary, political and constitutional change in Japan after World War II.

In 2016, Justin Williams Jr., Justin Williams Sr.’s son, donated several additional items to the collection. Among them, we are featuring two interesting items here: “Jeeper’s Japan” and “Fall of Tokyo 1945.”


Please contact us if you are interested in using these materials.

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Featured Education book – Zenkoku koto gakko senmon gakko koka, ryokashu

In September 2015, we began digitizing the education books in the Prange Collection.  We’ll share interesting educational materials with you as the scanning project progresses.  A list of posts in this series can be found here.   

“Zenkoku koto gakko senmon gakko koka, ryokashu” (Tokyo: Kinkyojuku, 1946) is a compilation of school songs (Call No. 430-0020). Some of the school songs, especially those were written before or during World War II, used nationalistic or militaristic terms that were considered objectionable by the Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD).  For example, “worship the Emperor as God” or “embracing the furious fighting mind” were marked for review by CCD examiners.  Although there are many markings in this particular book, it is unclear if the book was completely suppressed, withdrawn, or portions deleted, because the front cover is missing, which is where the examiners wrote censorship instructions for the publishers.

The third verse of the Matsue High School school song bears a X mark written by the CCD examiner.  See the excerpt below:

大和島根の宮柱 建業古きいしづゑを 流れて淸し簸の川も 糜爛の榮華怒るごと 夕波さわぎ風荒れて 我凋落の影ふかし

Similarly, the sixth verse of Hokkaido Teikoku University Yoka Ryoka also has an X mark:

潮に暮るゝ西の空 月も凍らむシベリヤの 吾が皇軍を思ひては 猛けき心の躍らずや

The school songs of several well-known schools are included in this book, such as Meiji University, Doshisha University, and Kansai University.  It seems as though the second verse of Waseda University’s school song received an X mark that was then changed to a check-mark.  See below.

This book is available in digital form onsite in the Prange Collection.  Please contact us if you are interested in using this book.

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A typo in colophon

Our student assistant spotted this tiny typo in a colophon of “Saga heiya ni okeru inasaku gijutsu no sanka meichu taisakushi” [佐賀平野に於ける稲作技術の三化螟蟲 對策史].  (Call No. 99-10)  It says “published on February 30, 1949.” Click the image to enlarge.

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Maryland Day 2017

On Saturday, April 29, we welcomed over 300 visitors to the 4th floor of Hornbake Library North for East Asian arts and crafts as part of Maryland Day 2017, the University of Maryland’s annual open house.

Chinese calligraphy is always popular with visitors of all ages.   At the Origami tables, we demonstrated how to make a samurai hat (kabuto), ninja star (shuriken) and crane (tsuru).  We also set up an oversized kabuto under which people could have their photo taken.  This year, a Korean staff member offered two traditional Korean games, Gonggi and Yut-Nori.

Our colleagues from the Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS) at the University of Maryland joined us this year.  They talked with visitors about the undergraduate Certificate in East Asian Studies.  Professor Michele Mason, Director of CEAS, also talked about manga at their table.

Thank you all for visiting, and see you again next year!

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Constitution: On this day in 1947.. (May 3) – 70th anniversary of the Constitution’s enactment

This is the last post in a series on the Japanese Constitution of 1947.

Today is Constitution Memorial Day (憲法記念日 Kenpō Kinenbi) in Japan, and we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Constitution’s enactment!  Over the last several weeks, we have highlighted Constitution-related materials in the Prange Collection, including newspaper articles and editorials, books, magazines, and items from a manuscript collection.  See the Constitution Series here. Today we focus on two Americans who were involved in writing the Constitution, Charles Kades and Beate Sirota Gordon.

Charles L. Kades Papers


Charles Kades holding copies of the Japanese Constitution of 1947 in English and Japanese.

Charles L. Kades, Deputy Director of the Government Section of SCAP during the Occupation of Japan, was the Chairman of the Steering Committee responsible for drafting the model constitution for the Japanese. His papers are divided into two parts: Part A begins with the tentative revision of the Meiji Constitution of Joji Matsumoto (January 4, 1946) and concludes with the U.S. Department of State publication of the final version of the Constitution of Japan (effective May 3, 1947). Japanese and English versions of most drafts are included here. See the first three pages of Matsumoto drafts in English and Japanese.


Part B includes memoranda, committee minutes, letters, check sheets, and an imperial message regarding the revision of the Japanese Constitution. See some example.

Interviews with Charles Kades and Beate Sirota Gordon

Included in the Marlene J. Mayo Oral Histories are interviews with Charles Kades and Beate Sirota Gordon.  Kades was interviewed by Professor Mayo on October 11 and 12, 1979.  They spoke for a total of 8 hours and 13 minutes!  Sirota Gordon drafted the language for Articles 14 (equal rights) and 24 (women’s civil rights) of the Japanese Constitution.  Mayo interviewed her on December 8, 1978.  The interview lasted 2 hours and 16 minutes.  Both reflected on their role in framing the Constitution and the profound effect that it had on establishing Japan as a democratic nation.  These interviews are available onsite in the Prange Collection.

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Constitution: Select newspaper editorials from 1948 and 1949

This is the sixth 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 promulgation, reactions of the Japanese, and observances of Constitution Memorial Day.

Constitution Memorial Day, a national holiday in Japan celebrated on May 3, is a day to reflect on the democratic principles embodied by the Constitution.  In the early years following its enactment, there was a tradition of taking stock and asking the question, How successful have the Japanese been in embracing a democratic government?  The editorials below asked that very question.  One published in Chugoku Shinbun (Call No. NC0408) on May 3, 1948, cautioned that the Japanese people still had a lot of work to do before they could fully embrace the new Constitution.  They were advised to use this day to reflect on obstacles to full implementation.  The new Constitution, it was noted, is a road map for a properly functioning democratic government. One year later, on Constitution Memorial Day 1949, the newspaper’s stance had not changed substantially.  The editors still felt that the Japanese people did not fully understand the Constitution and how to incorporate its principles into their own lives.

An editorial published in Jiji Shimpo (Call No. NH0088) on May 3, 1948 was less critical and perhaps more optimistic.  Entitled, “新憲法一年の成績,”  it assured readers that the first year was merely a “training period” for the Constitution.  Below is an excerpt.


On year later, in an article entitled, “新憲法実施二年の成績,” the paper again took the stance that two years was too short a time to completely absorb the new ideas in the Constitution.