Skip to main content
 Previous Next
  • Zoom In (+)
  • Zoom Out (-)
  • Rotate CW (r)
  • Rotate CCW (R)
  • Overview (h)
Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0140, 1945-12-22.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0457

call-number: DS801 .S82



(View Page Image)
GENERAL HEADQUARTERS
SUPREME COMMANDER FOR THE ALLIED POWERS
ALLIED TRANSLATOR AND INTERPRETER SECTION
PRESS TRANSLATIONS
No. 457 Date: 22 Dec 45

EDITORIAL SERIES: 140

ITEM 1 Japanese Myths Must Be Rewritten - Provincial Newspaper Kahoku Shimbun (Sendai) - 17 Dec 45. Translator: H. Arai.
Full translation:
Having pointed out that State Shinto was being used to political advantage for ultra-nationalistic, militaristic and chauvinistic purposes, General MacARTHUR's Headquarters ordered its abolition. This includes the cessation of propanda of State Shinto and all myths and idols which were derived from State Shinto, Hereafter, State Shinto is to be regarded as general Shinto as other religions are, and will be maintained by donations from its devotees.
The Japanese Nation has unconsciously lived a long time in an inspirational atmosphere as a result of the conspiracy between ultra-nationalists and the Army and Navy leaders. In order to control this national feeling, all educational facilities were utilized and the whole nation was compelled to pay homage to shrines in gatherings or at the beginning of work. Those who had no KAMIDANA (TN God shelf,) in their houses were treated as traitors. When things concerning the war rent wrong, the leaders berated us completely and shifted the responsibility for mistakes to us. If we made an error, they tried to single us out for punishment. It was impossible for the guards who blindly followed the authority of the Army and Navy, bureaucrats and ultra-nationalists to make a fuss, when they discovered such traitors. Some socialists and liberals were free from trouble during the war because of KAMIDANA.
As for myths and the nationality of country, we were, of course, forbidden to make criticism. We were obliged to believe in many things about which even school-boys had doubts. A history teacher says that he has never heard of such self-conceited people in all Japanese history. We believed that the Japanese people. Whose country is unique in the world, is the superior race, and could conquer the world. Moreover, we were convinced that Heaven would help us, even when the state of the war was going from bad to worse. Figuratively speaking, in spite of the scientific and cultural war, the Japanese Nation seemed to be waiting for miracles, to come [illegible]objectional and unhealthy shrine where the uncanny eyes of idols were gleaming. The reason [illegible]hatred. No one had any spirit to settle doubts and problems, but everyone was forced to keep his eyes closed to trouble and doubt and to work as hard as a whipped carriage horse.
Now we have become enlightened as a result of our defeat. Though we had the intelligence, We [illegible]ould not use it. The order issued by General MacARTHUR's Headquarters has taught us what to do.
First, Japanese history must be revised. We must correct errors in Japanese myths which make Japanese history false and mysterious. We must amend the history which was written for enlargement and propagation

(View Page Image)
EDITORIAL SERIES 140 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
of militarism, chauvinism and ultra-nationalism. We must evaluate a true history by arranging scientific and logical facts. The history which was distorted for a certain purpose must be revised. At the same time we must rewrite local history in the same manner. The basis of the past mistaken egotistic conception of our country has been that provincial people feel their own absolute superiority to others in regard to their birthplace, its personality and scenery. Many retrospective and narrow-minded compilations and studies of local histories were made. These self-complacent and feudalistic studies must be rewritten according to this new directive. We feel that ultra-nationalists did not live on theory but on blind faith. They used intimidate[illegible]ry measures which disregarded the true life. It is important to remove these measures and let them amend their blind conduct. We are conscious of a concrete change in JAPAN. We think that this directive marks the beginning of a new JAPAN.
ITEM 2 Urgency of Establishing a New National System - Provincial Newspaper Kahoku shinpo (Sendai) - 18 Dec 45. Translator: S. Fukuda.
Extracts:
Unfortunately, the ill-fated war has brought the people into an unprecedented food crisis. Remarkable, above all, is the fundament collapse of our national system. The defeat has brought about a complete change. Even JAPAN proper that had been believed inviolate has been occupied by the Allied. Powers, and a prince of Imperial blood is under their custody in the SUGAMO Prison. Imperial dethronment has been discussed in the Diet session, and moreover, the abolition of the Emperor system itself has become the object of open public discussion. Who could have predicted these developments a year ago? It is needless to say that the people's worship has lost its focus. Confusion in educational circles is greatest because education was most closely related with our national system. It was the essential source for the authority of educators over the educated. It is quite natural that decline and fall of the authority of educators is nothing else than that of education itself. Educators are perplexed and confess unanimously their inability to justify their own view to students who ask questions about such problems. There is no statement of our future national duty to enhance the cultural development of the world. Such duty must be assumed only through the national consciousness of the Japanese. To carry out this duty, the Japanese must have something to awaken them to rejuvinate our idea of our national system. From all aspects, re-examining the old idea of nationalism and building up a new one is now the pressing problem. This will be a key step toward sweeping away world contempt for defeated JAPAN, to awaken the depressed Japanese people and to animate our national spirit.
True historical facts and people's opinions of our history were once interfered with by political leaders! To think that that was the most difficult point in comprehending the past idea of a national system. It was full of faults, for people's opinions here bound by regulations and rules. This is probably the reason why when we hear the words "national system" we expect something dogmatic and absurd and cannot help, but of something oppressive and unnatural. To re-examine the national system idea, we must start to analize and discard these false ideas.
The Emperor should be the center of national worship as a pillar of the country, and not a political influence. It is necessary for statesmen, scholors and all those who are concerned with out national thinking to consider this thoroughly. "Man cannot live by bread alone" we read in the Bible. Measures to save JAPAN from the depths of defeat are not meant only to keep Japanese from starvation. To give firm support to our national spirit is just as important. We hear that the Government
- 2 -

(View Page Image)
EDITORIAL SERIES 140 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
intends to examine our history. We hope that they will rapidly establish a new idea of our notional system that is clear, vivid, and common throughout JAPAN and easily understandable for all the peoples of the world.
ITEM 3 There goes the bell for democracy - Provincial Newspaper Chobu Nippon Shimbun (Nagoya) - 19 Dec 45. Translator: K. Nagatani.
Full translation:
The first step in the realization of a democratic JAPAN begins with the dissolution of the House of Representatives. Then in what direction will the Japanese people express their desires in reconstructing a new JAPAN in the forthcoming general election? In the preceding general election we had 12,000,000 voters, while in the coming election the number of new voters will increase this figure by one and one half times. How will these new voters fulfil their function?
The reason why the coming general election is considered so important is that the election is being held to organize a new Diet on which our political resurrection will be based. It means that we should clearly realize how the past Diet plunged the nation into its present state. Of course, this requires scrupulous consideration of our Diet history covering the [illegible]ast half century. However, the political parties and their members in our country have been too egotistical to set the course of our nation.
No matter how chaotic the world's ideas may have been, the course of our nation should have been clear to those who thought about the nation's fate in connection with the international situation. While our political parties one and their members, instead of advancing our nation's course in the light of an international perspective, subjugated themselves before the threats and the one-sided judgements of the military clique a[illegible]its cohorts. This is why the Japanese Diet was long in a state of lethargy and had abandoned its power to represent the interests and will of the people and to fulfil its momentous task of discussing our state affairs.
In this way we come to the conclusion that we must never send to the new Diet representatives who are likely to repeat the errors of the past. This is the first point on which the Japanese should be cautious in the coming general election.
The second, point which deserves our scrupulous attention is to see that the coming general election is carried out under the newly-adopted plural ballot system in major electoral districts. In this connection it may be surmised that the Home Ministry planned this system in order to afford favorable conditions to new [illegible]and to select prominent statesmen. To our great regret, this intention of the Government was fundamentally upset by the Lower House's amendment to the original Government bill. Moreover, the electoral district system projected in the original bill was remodeled into one advantageous to the Progressives. Accordingly, the most urgent necessity for us is to investigate the aims and policies of the existing parties. The question is how to do this.
What measures are intended by those parties to overcome the present crisis in our national life? What are their policies on the questions
- 3 -

(View Page Image)
EDITORIAL SERIES 140 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
of industry, economy, and finance? Are they prepared to organize a new cabinet?
In the coming ordinary session of the Diet, fundamental problems related to the national structure, including constitutional reform, will obviously become the focal points of discussion. What do those parties think about these problems? Have they certain, resolute, unshaken beliefs in these matters? Furthermore, ideals entertained by those parties on the new education system and their attitudes in attaining international co-operation should also have been subjected to our examination. Without this strict investigation on the part of the people, it cannot be decided whether or not candidates and their parties are qualified for handling state affairs.
Thus, we naturally arrive at the conclusion that neither parties nor candidates who are lacking in the satisfactory qualifications should be considered qualified to run for the new Diet.
DISTRIBUTION "X"
- 4 -
HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0140, 1945-12-22.
 Text Only
 Text & Inline Image
 Text & Image Viewer
 Image Viewer Only