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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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Dr. Kihara goes to International Genetics Conference in 1948

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

Dr. Hitoshi Kihara (木原均, 1893-1986) of Kyoto University, well known for his genetic research on wheat, was invited to the the Eighth International Genetics Conference, which took place July 7 – 14, 1948 in Stockholm, Sweden.  On May 27, Asahi Shimbun submitted an article to the Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD) stating that it was unlikely that Dr. Kihara would be able to attend the conference due to insufficient funding for the trip, “…for sad to say, livelihood of Japanese scholars, as well-known, is associated with poverty.”  This statement was deleted.

On June 8, Kyodo Tsushin, Asahi Shimbun, and Mainichi Shimbun reported that Dr. Kihara would be able to attend the conference with financial assistance from the International Genetics Association and the United States Genetics Association.  All of these articles were suppressed — no reason was given on the censorship documents.   When Mainichi Shimbun submitted another article to the CCD on June 24 with the headline, “Dr. Hitoshi Kihara’s Travel Expenses”, the article was Passed, perhaps because it reported that support was not limited to organizations and individuals from abroad, but was also “from his friends and others”.  Click on the images below  to read the CCD documents.  Scroll down and click “View Full Size” in order to zoom in.  The galley proofs of the Japanese articles are only available onsite in the Prange Collection.

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Jerome Forrest Papers accessible in University Archives

The Gordon W. Prange Collection is pleased to announce that a new gift collection, the Jerome Forrest Papers, is accessible in University Archives at the University of Maryland Libraries.

Jerome Forrest worked as Gordon Prange’s editor from 1949 to 1950, during his service to GHQ/SCAP.  Mr. Forrest enrolled at the University of Maryland in Spring 1951, because Dr. Prange recommended that he pursue his graduate work under him.  For more details about the Jerome Forrest Papers, please visit this blog post.

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Greater East Asia War → Pacific War

The use of the term “Greater East Asia War” (大東亜戦争) was prohibited by GHQ/SCAP, and the Civil Censorship Detachment was instructed to replace it with “Pacific War” (太平洋戦争) in all print publications . The term was deleted from many of the Prange Collection books, especially reprints or new editions of books that were originally published before or during the war.  It was sometimes overlooked in the preface, however, where the author or editor mentioned the ongoing war using the term, “Greater East Asia War”.  In some books, the swapping of “Greater East Asia War” for “Pacific War” was the only change made to the book.

In the case below, the term “Greater East Asia War” was marked for change in the galley, but somehow made it through to the published version.

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Ironic censorship actions

As soon as censorship of the media was implemented in Occupied Japan, publishers quickly learned the importance of self-censorship.  The idea was to avoid submitting anything to the Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD) that would be deleted or would cause an entire work to be suppressed (i.e., not published).    The majority of publishers couldn’t afford to reprint an entire book if issues were identified by the CCD.

It is surprising, therefore, that publishers, who must have been aware that any mention of the CCD or censorship was prohibited (“Reference to Censorship” was one of banned topics in the Key logs issued by GHQ on a periodic basis), still chose to include in the colophon statements such as, “This book passed censorship” or a CCD assigned number.  Below are examples of colophons with deletions.

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Selective survey results deleted

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

Below are censorship documents for two newspaper articles from 1947 reporting on survey results.  Both articles made it to print, but not before the CCD deleted a few of the results.

In the first article (Yomiuri Shimbun, November 4, 1947, Prange Call No. 47-loc-1532), the survey targeted 352 middle-school boys and asked them whom they liked/disliked the most. The majority said that they liked their mothers the most.  Second only to mothers, was General MacArthur, “… because he takes trouble to supply us our food-stuff.”  The MacArthur response was deleted.  No mention of GHQ SCAP/General MacArthur was permitted.  As for people they disliked, Stalin was mentioned, as well as Japanese Communists.  Stalin was deleted, as there was to be no criticism of the Allied nations. [Only CCD documents exist for this article. There is no Japanese galley proof in the Prange Collection.]

Similar CCD interference can be seen in a Sekai Nippo article (“ボールドウィン氏と日本學生問答”) dated May 29, 1947. (Prange Call No. 47-loc-0268) According to the CCD document, Mr. Baldwin, Chief-director of the American Civil Liberties Union, visited Tokyo University and hosted a round-table talk. The University students were asked this question: “Are you discontented with the U.S. occupation policy?”  The result was “6, discontented ; 12, good ; neither, 1.”  Both the question and results were deleted. Again, no mention and, especially no criticism, of GHQ SCAP was permitted. [The Prange Collection also has the galley proof of the original Sekai Nippo article in Japanese.  The electronic version of the article is only available onsite in the Prange Collection.]


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