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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.

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