OSU Navigation Bar

The Ohio State University

University Libraries

A link to Portfolio 11: photographs, journal extract, and comments

Inland Sea: Census and Family Research; Remote Islands
In the summer of 1949, the Public Opinion and Sociological Research Division of SCAP was commissioned to conduct a series of basic demographic and sociological surveys to help write an enumeration schedule for the 1950 Census of Japan--the first census since the war. We performed a series of field projects in various parts of Japan--"we" being two Americans and four Japanese social scientists working for our Division. One of the most interesting of these projects took us to the Island of Shikoku and some of the smaller satellite islands in the Inland Sea, where there existed various historically ancient and traditional forms of community and family organization.

Includes a journal extract.

A link to Portfolio 12: photographs, journal extract, and comments

Forestry, Society and Economy
The Occupation's Natural Resources Section commissioned our Public Opinion and Sociological Research Division to conduct a series of studies of forestry management techniques in various parts of Japan. This involved examination of several different kinds of forest ownership and management: private, institutional, government, and religious.

Japanese tradition views the forested mountains as the home of mountain gods and demons, among other things. It is a region of famous shrines dedicated to the spirits and divinities of the trees and hills.

Includes a journal extract.

A link to Portfolio 13: photographs, journal extract, and comments

Fishing Activities
Most of the Japanese population lives on coastal plains, and mainly on the Pacific side. The Japan Sea coast, although it has had pockets of urban development, was never a location for great cities and their activities. But both coasts have dozens of smaller towns and villages in which fishing and agriculture represented the primary economic effort. The Natural Resources Section of the Japan Occupation was particularly concerned with the organization of fisheries, especially the system of private boat owners. These "boat owners" in the village behaved like oyabun, or paternalistic bosses, and paid the village young men who formed their crews, minimum wages--although at the same time, often guaranteed their employment, and provided certain benefits in cases of illness and other emergencies. The Occupation wanted to supplant the private boat-owner system with fishing cooperatives, in which all or most of the families were members.

Includes a journal extract.

A link to Portfolio 14: photographs & comments

The Ama: Girl Shellfish Divers
The place is the south end of the Izu Peninsula, southwest of the Kanto (Tokyo) area. The women are Ama--diving girls who are trained to dive into shallow water and reef areas and retrieve shellfish and other marine life used in gourmet seafood meals. It was a hard and dangerous occupation, and the girls used no special equipment. Most of them worked for a labor boss, who took a cut of their wages (the man on the left is not the "boss," but the attendant to watch over the women). The occupation gradually vanished after the war--these were among the last of the tribe.

All photographs in this portfolio were presented to me by a village photographer in Kamogawa, Chiba--considerably north of the Izu Peninsula locus of the pictures.