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Constitution: From Censored Newspaper Articles (CNAs)

This is the third  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.

On April 26, 1948, Yomiuri Shimbun submitted an article entitled “It is one year since the new Constitution was established.  It takes all sorts to make up a world” to the Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD).  (Prange Call No. 48-loc-0894)  The article examines legal actions taken as a result of the new Constitution, such as the increase in divorces on the basis of Article 14 (all people are equal under the law) and Article 24 (the equality of husband and wife in marriage).  Some of the specific reasons given for pursuing a divorce included, “…my wife is a late riser and hysteric” and “I married my husband on condition that we lived in couples (sic).  However, I found a father-in-law, mother-in-law and 5 sisters-in-law in the house.  I want to divorce my husband and to get isolation.”  The article also notes that there was an increase in immoral behavior, “As a result of misunderstanding of respect of people’s rights…” and an increase in criminal behavior, as well.  This put a strain on the newly reformed police system.  A passage critiquing the police system was marked for deletion.  The CCD documents are below.

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.

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