The Prange Collection exhibit, “Crossing the Divide: An American Dream Made in Occupied Japan, 1945-1952,” will be on display in the Maryland Room Gallery, Hornbake Library North, University of Maryland through July 2019. Each month, we will feature one or two items from the exhibit. For other Featured Exhibit Items of the Month, please visit here.
Our tenth and last Featured Exhibit Item of the Month is the book, “Bokura no Yakyu” [Our Baseball], published in July 1948.
Baseball, emblematic of an American way of life, was used by the Japanese government (with the support of GHQ/SCAP) to convey democratic ideals to young men and boys. This book for young boys included the following: what it means to play baseball fairly; the American Major League — its structure, history, scouting, and trading; baseball in other countries; Japanese baseball — its history, an overview of professional baseball and collegiate baseball; the science of baseball (e.g. the speed of a pitch, batting, and running); short biographies of famous baseball players, including Joe DeMaggio and Hiroshi Ōshita; and the rules of baseball for children.
This book has been digitized. In addition to being available in the University of Maryland Digital Collections (full-text is only available on the University of Maryland, College Park campus), it is also available onsite at the National Diet Library of Japan (NDL) through NDL’s Digital Collection.