Japan Occupation Collection

For seven years after the end of World War II, the United States led an occupation force in Japan that oversaw comprehensive reforms of the country's military, economy, politics, and social order. Under the direction of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Command of Allied Powers (SCAP) dismantled and disarmed the military, conducted a series of war crimes trials, and undertook significant reforms in land tenure, industry, and the economy, culminating in the imposition of new pacifist constitution that shifted power from the Emperor to parliament. In the face of the rise of the Cold War and change in international priorities, the U.S. brokered a final peace settlement with Japan that formally ended the occupation in 1952, leaving American bases and bilateral security pact intact.

Focused on the period 1945-1952, this collection includes a sampling of printed materials aimed at average American servicemen and their dependents involved in the occupation and reconstruction of Japan. The collection includes histories and guidebooks, picture books aimed at tourists, and a few examples of instructional materials and propaganda.

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Background

An image

At a conference held in Moscow in Dec., 1945, the victorious allied powers of the Second World War agreed to an international effort to reconstruct the Japanese state along democratic lines. U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, commander of U.S. forces in Japan, was granted authority to "issue all orders for the implementation of the Terms of Surrender, the occupation and control of Japan, and all directives supplementary thereto," and for seven years, the United States maintained an occupation force in the country that oversaw comprehensive reforms of the country's military, economy, politics, and society.

To uproot the militarism that had pervaded Japanese government, the Supreme Command of Allied Powers (SCAP) began by dismantling and disarming the Japanese armed forces and between May 1946 and Nov. 1948, they held an International Military Tribunal that tried nine senior political leaders and eighteen military leaders for war crimes. Subsequent efforts to reconstruct the state included land reforms intended to blunt the power of traditional elite, a thoroughgoing restructuring of industry and the economy to align it with western market capitalism, and the imposition of new pacifist constitution that shifted power from the Emperor to parliament. With the rise of the Cold War and change in international priorities, the U.S. brokered a final peace settlement with Japan that formally ended the occupation in 1952, leaving most American military bases and a bilateral security pact intact.

Contents of Collection

Focused on the period 1945-1952, this collection includes a sampling of printed materials aimed at average American servicemen and their dependents involved in the occupation and reconstruction of Japan. The collection includes histories and guidebooks, touristic picture books, and a few examples of instructional materials and propaganda. Also included are several later items, generally prepared for tourists, revealing the complex evolution of American ideas about Japan and Japanese culture in the post-occupation years.

The collection was assembled by James and Sibylle Fraser, reflecting their long-standing and eclectic interest in the history and culture of contemporary Japan.

Collection inventory
Lory, Hillis: Japan's military masters. Washington, D.C. : Infantry Journal
1943
Pic
1944 June 20
Yank, the Army weekly
1945 Feb. 9
Time. [serviceman's edition]
1945 May 14
New Yorker. [serviceman's edition]
1945 July 7
The punch below the belt. Washington, D.C. : U.S. War Department Military Intelligence Division [restricted]
1945 Aug. 1
Time
1945 Aug. 20
Guide to the western Pacific for the use of the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. CINCPAC-CINCPOA Bulletin 126-44
1944 Aug.
Time [serviceman's edition]
1945 Aug. 27
Guide to Japan. CINCPAC-CINCPOA Bulletin 209-45 [restricted]
1945 Sept. 1
Saipan Beacon, vol. 4, 19
1945 Sept. 24
Colliers
1945 Oct. 13
Gorer, Geoffrey: Japanese character structure and propaganda
ca.1945
Guide map of Tokyo. Tokyo : Nippon Chizu Kaisha
1946 Feb.
Tokyo, Fall of 1945. Tokyo : Bunka-sha
1946
Hoffmaster, Paul: Japan today: a portfolio of sketches, Tokyo-Yokohama, 1945-1946. Japan : Engineer, Eighth U.S. Army
ca.1947
Japan, the pocket guide. Tokyo : Japan Travel Bureau
1947
Up to now! Eighth U.S. Army. Boonjudo : Eighth U.S. Army Printing Plant
1947
Religions in Japan. Tokyo : Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers
1948
Bristol, Horace: Japan. Tokyo : East-West
1949
Taki, Shodo: Japan today: a pictorial guide, 2nd. ed. Tokyo : Society for Japanese Cultural Information
1950
Manners and customs of Japan [color slide set]
1950
Japan pictorial. Tokyo : Nippon Seihan
1951
Bristol, Horace: Tokyo on a 5 day pass. Japan : East-West
1951
Sheba, Kimpei: I cover Japan. Tokyo : Tokyo News Service
1952
Japan in pictures, 1945-1951. Tokyo : Tokyo News Service
ca.1952
Thacher, Russell: The Captain. New York : Pocket Books
1952
Domain of the Golden Dragon [certificate for crossing the international date line]
1953 Dec. 19
Mutsu, Ian and Oland D. Russell: Here's Tokyo. Tokyo : Tokyo News Service Ltd.
1953
Gluck, Jay: Ah so: misadventures of a foreigner in Japan. Tokyo : Phoenix Books
1954
Glimpses of Japan. Tokyo : East-West
1954
Wonderful Japan. Tokyo : Kiyohide Yamashita
1954
Hume, Bill: Baby-san: a private look at the Japanese occupation, 18th Japanese printing. Tokyo : Charles E. Tuttle
1955
Japan up to date. Japan : s.n.
1955
Frew, Bob: Motoring in Japan. Tokyo : Charles E. Tuttle
1955
Teahouse of the August Moon [menu for SS President Wilson]
1956 June 6
Bosworth, Alan R.: Ginza go, papa-san, 2nd printing. Tokyo : Charles E. Tuttle
1956
Higa, Gasei et al.: Tours of Okinawa. Tokyo : Bridgeway Press
1959
Journal of Social and Political Ideas in Japan, vol. 1, 3
1963 Dec.
Goodwill ambassadors. New York : World Peace Study Mission
1964
Gluck, Jay and Sumi: Japan inside out, 5 vols. Vol. 1m Through the red tori; vol.2, Down the Tokaido; vol. 3, Imperial Kyoto; vol. 4, Osaka; vol. 5, Tokyo. Tokyo : Asia Institute
1964
Contemporary religions in Japan, vol. 6, 2
1965 June
Yakeato ni nagareru ringo no uta : senryo?ka no Nihon. Tokyo : Gakushu Kenkyusha
1982

Administrative information

Access

The collection is open for research.

Language:

English

Provenance

Gift of James and Sibylle Fraser, 2014.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, Sept. 2015.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: Japan Occupation Collection (RB 027). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms

Subjects

  • Japan--History--Allied occupation, 1945-1952
  • Japan--Pictorial works

Link to similar SCUA collections

Genre terms

  • Maps
  • Photographs