In the aftermath of World War II, the Allies occupied Japan with the explicit intent of democratization and demilitarization. The effort was led by General Douglas MacArthur as Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers (SCAP). His General Headquarters (GHQ/SCAP) touched every aspect of civil society, including the press. Three weeks after MacArthur’s arrival in Japan in 1945, GHQ/SCAP issued the Code for Japanese Press, a ten-point list of prohibited topics. The Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD), a unit of GHQ/SCAP, was charged with applying the Code. The Prange Collection is the archive of the file copies of the CCD, including nearly the complete run of Japanese newspapers (including wall newspapers), magazines, books, posters, maps, and other ephemera from the years 1945-1949. The posters and wall newspapers bear censorship markings.
The posters in the Gordon W. Prange Collection were used primarily to promote public health and safety, for instruction in the classroom, to advance political messages (including messaging by labor unions), and for advertising. They were published by local governments, labor unions, and educational organizations. Now, they are of interest not only for their content, but for their graphic design.
The wall newspapers in the Gordon W. Prange Collection were published throughout Japan. They were intended for posting in public places, such as a train stations. Some were hand-painted, others were printed. They are a part of the larger collection of newspapers in the Prange Collection that were microfilmed in black and white during the 1990s. The wall newspapers were digitized due to their graphic and highly unique nature.