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Constitution: General Books

This is the fourth 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.

“Akarui Kenpo akarui seikatsu” [New Constitution, Bright Life] (Call No. JQ-0052) was published by Kenpo Fukyukai in 1947.  According to Professor John Dower, an author of Embracing defeat : Japan in the wake of World War II, this pocketsize booklet was issued 20 million copies by the Japanese government in order to ensure a booklet for every household in Japan.  (pp. 402-403).

Nara Nichinichi Shinbunsha published “Zukai Kenpo” [The Illustrated Constitution] (Call No. JQ-0055) in 1947.  Each Article in the new Constitution is accompanied with a one page cartoon. Below are the pages for Article 20, “Freedom of Religion.”


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