Isaac Meyer

Historian, teacher, podcaster

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

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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.

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

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

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

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Mifune Toshiro in Drunken Angel (1948).

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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.

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

 

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Episode 189 – Lifting the Lost, Part 7

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Episode 191 – Lifting the Lost, Part 9

1 Comment

  1. Great episode as always. Hearing about the life of the people is always enjoyable even when the subject goes into dark territory. My in-laws grew up in the countryside of Kochi and Kagoshima being born just at the end of the war. I live in Hyogo between Kobe and Osaka so I’ve heard lots of stories from that time period. Keep up the good work.

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