[This is a guest post written by Niko Schultz, a Student Assistant in the Prange Collection.] This is the second post of the series of the censorship of Fraternization during the Allied Occupation of Japan. See Part I here.
The Top: Gossip Column “Chieko in Trouble”
The May 1946 issue of the magazine The Top contained a gossip column about a Japanese dancer, Chieko Takeshita. The original title of the column was “Chieko in Trouble.” The former part of the article discussed Chieko’s trip to the United States and subsequent return to Japan. According to the column, Chieko’s fiance, Clarke Kawakami, then came to Japan as a first lieutenant of the U.S. Army. However, because GIs were not allowed to marry Japanese women, Chieko and Clarke were not able to get married as they had planned. The latter part of the column discussed Chieko’s dancing career.
The CCD considered the reference to the non-fraternization policy to be information that “disturbs public tranquility.” The title of the column was ordered to be changed from “Chieko in Trouble” to “Chieko Makes a Good Showing.” The discussion of Chieko’s dancing career was allowed to be printed without alterations, but the first paragraph describing her trip to the United States and her plans for marriage was ordered to be deleted.
Chieko’s story provided an example of a case in which the non-fraternization policy could be seen as unfair. Chieko had apparently met Clarke when she was in the United States and had already planned to marry him before he came to Japan as a GI. Based on his last name, it also seems that Clarke was Japanese American. The column emphasized Chieko’s sadness when she was unable to marry her fiance, describing in romantic terms the brightness of her eyes when Clarke came to Japan and her sigh when their marriage was canceled. The CCD probably feared that Chieko’s emotionally compelling story would cause readers to develop unfavorable views of the non-fraternization policy and SCAP in general. In order to avoid any unrest or public disapproval of SCAP’s policies, the CCD deleted any mention of Clarke and the prohibition on marriage in the gossip column.