Isaac Meyer

Historian, teacher, podcaster

Month: April 2017

Episode 191 – Lifting the Lost, Part 9

This week: what, in the end, did the Occupation mean — for both the occupied and the occupier?

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Dower, John. Embracing Defeat.

Dr. Dower’s editorial on the Japan-Iraq comparison.

Pyle, Kenneth. Japan Rising: The Resurgence of Japanese Power and Purpose.

Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan.

Images

Pro-MacArthur Demonstration in New York, 1951

Truman’s decision to fire Douglas MacArthur was not only unpopular in Japan but in the US as well; it contributed to a plummeting approval rating and to Truman’s ultimate decision not to attempt a run for a second, complete term.

220px-NPR_personnel

The early days of the National Police Reserve, which eventually became the modern Japan Self-Defense Forces.

Shigeru Yoshida Signs Security Pact

Yoshida Shigeru signs the 1951 San Francisco Treaty, which went into effect the following year.

9

Kishi plays golf with President Eisenhower.

Untitled

Kishi at the Yankees game.

s1.reutersmedia

In an ironic twist, Japan was also caught up in America’s newest attempts at nation-building; JSDF personnel were deployed outside of combat zones to assist in reconstruction efforts.

Episode 190 – Lifting the Lost, Part 8

This week: what was it like to live through the Occupation? How did people get by? And why is Kurosawa Akira objectively the greatest director ever?

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Dower, John. Embracing Defeat. 

Mansfield, Stephen. Tokyo: A Cultural and Literary History.

This fantastic exploration of nutrition in Occupation Japan.

Sakamoto, Rumi. “Pan Pan Girls: Humiliating Liberation in Postwar Japanese Literature.” Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies 7, No. 2 (2010).

Images

8f2b414449564f631508372a302de9c8

Women who were willing (or just interested) in relationships with Americans could obtain access to unimaginable luxuries for most of the population, like good ol’ Hershey’s chocolate.

e5266d3c1dce04c12f10e7e439a83096

Hayashi Tadahiko’s 1949 photograph “Street Children at Ueno.”

71f033ac2524de98ea2f4eb1a3696a3c

Mori Mitsuko, whose performances I am sure Allied troops enjoyed for their technical accomplishments.

887id_403_006_w1600

Professor Itokawa and Yukie in No Regrets for Our Youth (1946).

2014-10-01

Mifune Toshiro in Drunken Angel (1948).

yasujiro-ozu

Ozu Yasujiro was a pretty strange director, but has a dedicated following among fancy film types who refuse to simply admit that Kurosawa is simply better.

Yasuura_House

One outpost of the Recreation and Amusement Association (RAA), essentially a Japanese government-run prostitution service for American service personnel.

 

Episode 189 – Lifting the Lost, Part 7

This week: the social reforms of the Occupation. Economic policy, education policy: it’s like our very own C-SPAN screening!

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Geldon, Sharon. Molding Japanese Minds.

Dower, John. Embracing Defeat

Pyle, Kenneth. Japan Rising

Images

p_68a

An American education mission studies Japanese schools in order to suggest reforms, c. 1946.

JFOOD007_380

Rice paddies like this one were the primary form of subsistence for tenant farmers who, before the Occupation, were trapped in the lower class due to their renter status.

p_70b

A shipment of Japanese silk headed for market in America. Japanese goods were cheap for Americans to buy thanks to the fixed 360 yen: 1 dollar exchange rate.

p_73a

During the Meiji period, textiles had been a major source of revenue for Japan. Synthetic fabrics like nylon, being produced here in Tokyo, provided a chance for textiles to once again be the backbone of an economic revival.

adf

SCAP kept up its image in the states by publishing bulletins describing its advances in reforms.

Episode 188 – Lifting the Lost, Part 6

This week, we talk about what it took to make a peace on paper a peace in fact. With millions of Japanese civilians and soldiers scattered across Asia, what would it take to get them all home again?

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Barshay, Andrew. The Gods Left First. 

Dower, John. Embracing Defeat. 

Spector, Ronald. In the Ruins of Empire/

Images

p_52b

Japanese POWs debarking at Yokosuka. After a brief “de-orientation” period they were released into the public.

Japanese_Soldiers_Returning_from_Siberia_1946

Japanese POWs in Siberia. The Soviets proved easily the most brutal of potential captors for the Japanese.

1437614966735

Repatriation proved difficult for children in particular. Some families were forced to leave them behind in order to escape; others, like this girl, were separated from their families in the chaos or were the only ones to make it to a port.

p_49a

Japanese troops preparing to board ships headed from China to Japan. The white box carried by the man in front holds the ashes of one of his comrades.

ahiko-san01

Ahiko Tetsuro circa 2011.

Episode 187 – Lifting the Lost, Part 5

This week, we discuss the course of the Tokyo War Crimes Trials and their legacy in Japan. How did they go from a vision of international optimism to despised by people on both sides of the political spectrum?

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Dower, John. Embracing Defeat.

Maga, Tim. Judgment at Tokyo.

Takeda, Kayoko. Interpreting the Tokyo War Crimes Trials: A Sociopolitical Analysis.

Images

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén