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The Jeep: a symbol of the Occupation Forces

The image of the Jeep is often associated with the Allied presence in Japan during the Occupation.  Some saw it as a symbol of power; others saw it as a reminder of defeat.  Either way, Jeeps drove into the daily lives of the Japanese as soon as the Occupation began.  It is, therefore, no surprise that we see the image of the Jeep throughout the Prange Collection — in literature, photographs, newspaper articles and even in children’s books.  Below are some examples.

“Jeep” in Censored Newspaper Articles

BLOG_pca-47-frn-2375xxx-000-ar000-0000There are a few examples of the term “Jeep” being censored in newspaper articles.  In the following cases, the Jeep and, by association GIs, was implicated in unsavory and potentially criminal situations, news that GHQ/SCAP was interested in suppressing.

In a Mainichi Shimbun article with the headline, “Yoshida’s Car Attacked”, dated October 31, 1947, the term “Jeep” was changed by the censors to “automobile”.  (47-frn-2375)  Click on the image at left to read the article.

There was also news of a dead body found in a Jeep on May 30, 1948.  Asahi Shimbun, Kyodo Tsushin, Mainichi Shimbun and Yomiuri Shimbun covered the story.  Each article received slightly different censorship actions.  For example, instructions were given to Mainichi Shimbun to change the headline of their article from  “ジープの中に怪死体” to “自動車の中に怪死体.”  (Prange Call No. 48-loc-1898).  The digital image of the Japanese galley proof is available onsite in the Prange Collection as well as onsite at the National Diet Library of Japan Digital Collections.

The Jeep in Children’s Books

There are several children’s books that include images of Jeeps.  Some are in coloring books or craft books.  Examples are:

One example of a craft book with an image of a Jeep was featured in this post.

The Jeep in magazines


少年世界 (S2199), あおいとり (A284), ふたば (F233)

  • 「やさしい工作:ジープの作り方」 (Magazine Title: 少年世界.  Prange Call No. S2199) 1949-04-01 (Vol. 2, No. 3)
  • 「こうさく:はしれはしれハロー・ジープ」(Magazine Title: あおいとり. Prange Call No. A284) 1948-11-01 (Vol. 1, No. 5, Nov.)
  • 「ジープとさんりんしゃ」(Magazine Title: ふたば. Prange Call No. F233) 1948-03-01 (Vol. 3, No.3)

The Jeep in the Robert P. Schuster Photographs


Robert Schuster Collection, RS-246, RS-349

  • RS-246: With the description, “The army’s quickest & fastest means of travel, the “jeep”, on the grounds of the 13th Gen. Hosp.  Osaka, Japan May ’46”, written by Schuster.
  • RS-349: With the description, “M.P.” truck or rather “Jeep” “making the rounds” down a Jap street in Osaka, Japan. May,  1946.”, written by Schuster.


The Jeep in secondary sources

  • jeepHarada, Hiroshi. 1994. MP no jīpu kara mita senryōka no Tōkyō: dōjō keisatsukan no kansatsuki. Tōkyō: Sōshisha. (MP のジープから見た占領下の東京 : 同乗警察官の観察記)

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