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Photos of Poverty and Rebuilding in Post-War Japan
May 4, 2007 1:35 PM   Subscribe

The Walter Pennino Photo Collection of the Occupation of Japan. Eighty photographs of Japan under Allied occupation taken around 1948, from children enjoying a picture-card show, to fishermen, to repatriated soldiers. (Follow the "pic index" link on the front page to see the thumbnail images.)
posted by sudasana (14 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

Via a post by Shunichi Takekawa on the H-Asia discussion list. Takekawa writes that photos can be used without permission for non-commercial purposes, as long as credit is given to the Center of Japanese Studies, University of Hawai'i at Minoa.
posted by sudasana at 1:39 PM on May 4, 2007

Thank you for this.
posted by Abiezer at 4:16 PM on May 4, 2007

Thanks for the post. I especially like photo # 35, the chin-don drummer. You still see chin-don bands from time to time in Tokyo, usually hired for the opening of a new pachinko parlor or the like, and the drummers still play a little portable kit like the one pictured here.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:53 PM on May 4, 2007

Nice. Contrary to the 2nd caption, the hardworking obasan in 56 can be found all over Japan still.

47's 2nd caption is a bit odd too, not like those "smoke stacks" are so industrial-grade as to not be just plain stovepipes. I've biked over 90% of urban Tokyo so it bugs me I can't place that nice building. . . Kudanshita maybe.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 6:15 PM on May 4, 2007

"pic index" link isn't working anymore, or maybe just for me.
posted by Citizen Premier at 8:19 PM on May 4, 2007

Nice find, thanks!
posted by carter at 9:21 PM on May 4, 2007

Moving photographs. Loved the sumo wrestlers and the glimpses into that particular past about which I was very curious.
posted by nickyskye at 2:20 AM on May 5, 2007

Thank you very much for the post, fascinating pictures.
posted by vito90 at 11:10 AM on May 5, 2007

Citizen: not working for me either. Tried Safari, Firefox, Camino (Mac OS X) and Firefox, IE7 (Windows)

No dice.

I would have loved to have seen these, having lived in Japan for many years. When I was there, there was still a bunch of land that was owned by the US Govt. In come cases, it actually provided a much needed "greenbelt" area.
posted by drstein at 11:54 AM on May 5, 2007

This was kind of a nice find for me, having just watched Kurosawa's Stray Dog last night. The film is both set and shot in 1949 Tokyo; there's some particularly great footage of the black markets in Tokyo from around this era, covertly shot by Honda Ishiro of Godzilla fame, wandering around the real life seedy markets of Ueno and Akihabara disguised as a soldier and with a camera hidden in a box.

It's amazing, though, to see Tokyo immediately post war --- it just looks like a lot of nothing. Low houses and empty lots with the homeless families and ex-soldiers just standing around. It looks like dusty, rural suburbs --- not one of the world's great cities --- and you begin to realize how completely and utterly devastated Tokyo was by the war.
posted by Tiresias at 1:56 PM on May 5, 2007

What's with the big back washing train?
posted by Sukiari at 2:47 PM on May 5, 2007

with the big back washing train

social club or somesuch. Back then nearly everyone in Tokyo went to the public baths to clean up, private baths were a Mid-Showa change.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 7:27 PM on May 5, 2007

not one of the world's great cities --- and you begin to realize how completely and utterly devastated Tokyo was by the war.

Tokyo had a lot less to fall down, unlike the European cities. A bit more than half of the city was "utterly devasted" in the repeated firebombings, but around half wasn't.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 7:30 PM on May 5, 2007

This might help: Coral cache direct link to the thumbnail page.
posted by sudasana at 6:30 AM on May 6, 2007

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