Skip to main content
 Previous Next
  • Zoom In (+)
  • Zoom Out (-)
  • Rotate CW (r)
  • Rotate CCW (R)
  • Overview (h)
Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0129, 1945-12-20.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0421

call-number: DS801 .S82



(View Page Image)
GENERAL HEADQUARTERS
SUPREME COMMANDER FOR THE ALLIED POWERS
ALLIED TRANSLATOR AND INTERPRETER SECTION
PRESS TRANSLATIONS
No. 421 Date: 20 Dec 45

EDITORIAL SERIES: 129

ITEM 1 State and Shintoism - Asahi Shimbun - 17 December 1945. Translator: M. Kawanabe.
Full Translation:
The Allied directive ordering the abolishment of state SHINTO is of great importance and has considerable influence upon all fields of our civilization. Here we should like to call attention to the following points.
First, as a result of this directive, Japanese history has come to a point which calls for its revision. The Department of Education is expected to hold a meeting shortly discussing a practical plan to fundamentally revise history text-books. This is not a question of mere textbook revision, but it also involves the great problem of sub-stancial revision of our history. Japanese history had always remained a mixture of fact and mythology throughout both the MEIJI and TAISHO Periods, but as the world crisis grew more sever, during the SHOWA period, it reached the stage where it was adopted by the governments authorities as State SHINTO with the object of camouflaging agressive thoughts by mythology and to supporting faith in militarism.
But now mythology must be strictly separated from history. This does not, however, defile the merit of the former as a tradition of the Nation. It remains as recious data for folkdore, philology and mythology, and will occupy an outstanding position as one of the world's cultural treasures. Hitherto, however, mythology has been treated as if it were history itself and historians of good conscience were excluded as thought criminals. The study of history is our country has not yet actually reached the stage of enlightenment and we have failed to have any true historical viewpoint. What we desire is a fundamental enlightenment of Japanese history which will allow no compromise of fact and fiction. This will be a chief factor of JAPAN's reconstruction.
Then, the directive declared that faith in the Emperor as a living God will be eliminated. Accordingly, the problems of the Emperor System may be discussed as problems of purely political nature with far clearer expression.
Next, the position of SHINTO as a form of religion which is allowed freedom of faith along with other religions must be called to question. The SHINTO religion is not of all the Nation, but so long as it remains as such it may be said to have many connections with the Japanese people. However, has it once borne a CHRIST or other outstanding prophets who have risen up as if they were inspiried and conquering the narrow-mindedness of the race have established a world inspired religion? Though it may be a task on the part of scholars of religion to investigate the cause of no such occurrence, the elevation of SHINTO's a position and worth will not be fully realized unless such criticism comes from within.

(View Page Image)
EDITORIAL SERIES: 129 (Continued)
ITEM 2 Untrustworthy Bureaucrats - Tokyo Shimbun - 18 December 1945. Translator: K. Takashi.
Full Translation:
At one village in AKITA-Ken, the authorities are reported to have dared to preserve rice for the villagers' own consumption without consulting the ken authorities about such disposition. The authorities of the ken and of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry gave a common-place explanation, stating that the decision in this matter should be determined as to whether or not the allotted quantity of rice had been delivered to the Government. However, this face suggests not merely a trifling with regulations but it also causes a grave concern in the fundamentals of administration.
This is a straightforward expression of the people that they are unable to rely upon the Government's present inconsistent policy and are compelled, by themselves, to find a means to live. This is, so to speak, a manifestation of lack of confidence toward the Government on the part of the people. If the policy of "re-distribution of rice for the farmers, which the Government once advocated, was trusted entirely by the villagers this case might not have happened. The villagers might have waited for the re-distribution even though they had offered their entire crops to the Government.
While the Government has always been against food-hunting in rural areas, is there anyone who would enjoy such troublesome shopping if the official ration of staple food were satisfactory[illegible]Behold the terrible black markets in every corner of our cities. Everyone at the black market is conscious of the existence of public offices because of the patrolling constables in the market, but no confidence is placed in them.
The Supreme Command's latest directive, urging the establishment of effective measures to relieve the umpropertied from starvation, also indicates the Allied distrust in Japanese Authorities.
We fear that our Government is so benumbed that it cannot be aware of the occurence at one village in AKITA, or of the citizens crowded in black markets, even if it is aware are of having lost the confidence of Allied Headquarters. How can we hope to see JAPAN rebuilt, if after the dissolution of the military clique, there still remains such worthless bureaucrats in our country?
ITEM 3 Shintoism and Emperor System - Yomiuri Hochi Shimbun - 18 December 1945. Translator: H. Fusakawa.
Full Translation:
The MEIJI Reformation, which ought to have established the modern state on the ruins of the SHOGUNATE, was completely deformed by feudal clans and bureaucrats who plotted to establish an absolute regime by combining the Emperor system with the SHINTO doctrine and veiling both in mystery. The so-called "introduction of western civilization", which was a slogan of the MEIJI Reformation, was put into practice in only a partial and expedient fashion. The tragic condition of present-day JAPAN had its origin in this historical fact.
- 2 -

(View Page Image)
EDITORIAL SERIES: 129 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
The progress of Allied Supreme Headquarters in the reconstruction of JAPAN, based on scientific principles, removed the veil of mystery which has been darkening the minds of the Japanese people. As expressed in the Allied directive, "to liberate the Japanese Nation from the compulsory financial burden which was imposed upon them in order to support the idealogy which has contributed to their war guilt, defeat, suffering, privation and the present deplorable condition", the absolute necessity of the separation of the religion from the State must be realized by the Japanese people at this moment. It is a fact that many intellectuals of our country were doubtful of the mysticism of SHINTO entirely separated from modern civilization. They [illegible]ould not resist however, the pressure of SHINTO, which was helped with political power and supported by the militarists.
For example, the suppression of Dr. MINOBE's theory on constitution, which tends to overestimate the law, was put into effect mainly from the viewpoint of SHINTO ideology. There is the case of Dr. INOUE, Tetsujiro, who was deprived of his position as Member of the House of Peers and all other official posts on account of his work on the history of the three sacred treasures. That work had resulted in exposing the falsity of the legend. The ousting of Dr. INOUE, which dumbfounded intellectuals of the world for its rashness, was backed by the SHINTO absolutists. Moreover, political history since the MEIJI Era, amounts in numerous instances in which the political responsibility was charged with questions on SHINTO which had no relation to public welfare.
At one time, representatives of labor unions which advocated socialism visited the Shrine of ISE and prayed for the acquisition of universal franchise. It was impossible for foreigners to understand the meaning of this. A man who can realize that mysticism was the very thing which subjugated the Japanese under an ideological and economic slavery, must understand that the labor movement can never be consistent with the theocratic SHINTO ideology. If there is a labor union which cannot give up mysticism in democratic JAPAN, the Japanese labor movement cannot, as yet, deserve its name.
Broadly-termed a bureaucrats, which includes the military clan, have been, in a certain sense, faithful disciples of SHI[illegible]TOISM. They did not hesitatie to ignore humanity and to trample upon human rights through an absolute faith in SHINTOISM. The inhuman character of JAPAN's militarists originated from the fact that they presumptuously called themselves "Imperial Army" or "Holy Soldiers" since the outbreak of the Manchurian Incident. It was this faith in the absolutism of SHINTOISM which rationalized the cruel treatment, by police officials, of the socialists and liberals, who were defenders of the people. This often resulted in horrible torture, which was justified by the belief that SHINTOISM disregards any human feeling on the part of police officials. The diplomats, who ought to be loyal and friendly with other nations, exercised Medieval principles without regard for international morality, only because they believed in SHIATOISM, a system which taught that JAPAN was the greatest nation in the world.
- 3 -

(View Page Image)
EDITORIAL SERIES: 129 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
So long as SHINTOISM, the source of these evils, exists, the abovementioned evils can never be extirpated, despite the dissolution of the Army, the abolition of the Peace Preservation Law and the suspension of diplomatic functions. Since the defeat, there has surged a feeling of criticism of this absolute belief among the people. Some theorcrats, to protect their privileges, planned to stand against the popular movement by declaring it "Red". "Red" means communism, and the calamity of the people, who have long been oppressed under the rule of SHINTOISM, had its cause in the fact that, in JAPAN, only communists, who mastered the knowledge of social science could criticize the absolute faith in SHINTOISM.
Now this veil of SHINTOISM is taken off. It is evident that this measure will require at once the re-investigation of Japanese history and will promote the fundamental reform of the Emperor System, which has a suzerainty through SHINTO. The real history of JAPAN should be written at once so that the masses can feel the true courage and worth of their existence.
DISTRIBUTION "X"
- 4 -
HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0129, 1945-12-20.
 Text Only
 Text & Inline Image
 Text & Image Viewer
 Image Viewer Only