I. A HISTORY OF THE PUBLIC OPINION AND SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH DIVISION, SCAP
This was previously published as the first chapter in the publication, Paternalism and the Japanese Economy: Anthropological Studies of Oyabun-Kobun Patterns by John W. Bennett and Iwao Ishino. University of Minnesota Press, 1963.
Chapter 1: Social Research in a Military Occupation
Up to World War II, the majority of research on Japan's society and culture had been done by historians, economists, and political scientists--many of whom were attached to Western diplomatic services. Jon Embree's pioneer community study, Suye Mura (1939) was the only major piece of research done by a professional anthropologist or sociologist. One reason for the neglect of Japan by these two related disciplines was the difficulty of the language. Even under the best of circumstances, training in Japanese is arduous; and the study of this language in Western universities was extremely rare before the war. However, perhaps even more important was the pervading climate in each of these disciplines: until recently anthropologists were not interested in the older civilizations, tribal societies having captured their attention for generations; sociologists were principally concerned with the West, and, moreover, had not displayed a great deal of interest in cultural differences as a key to understanding social structure.
During the war large numbers of Americans and British were trained by the armed forces in the language, his tory, and culture of Japan. Still others, not so specially trained, were stationed in Japan as part of the Occupation forces and had the opportunity to learn about and appreciate the country. Out of these experiences has come a whole generation of social scientists who specialize in Japanese studies. Nearly every major American university has at least one of these people on its staff, and in several institutions, specialized institutes or study programs have developed around one or more of these scholars.
The work reported on in this volume was a pioneer venture. It was carried out during the Occupation by a team of young social scientists either trained in the language by the armed services or brought to Japan because of some special interest or competence. The studies reported here thus have a certain historical importance aside from whatever intrinsic value they may have as social research.
Nearly a decade has passed since these studies were done. During this interval the data have been analyzed and viewed against a background of related studies and the experience of the writers. The research venture itself--working with "conquered" colleagues in a military occupation with the objective of serving social science and a great social reform program--can also now be considered from the standpoint of our increased professional experience. In this chapter we present a brief history of the research organization and an appraisal of its work in the light of subsequent reflection.
A. The Public Opinion and Sociological Research Division
The Public Opinion and Sociological Research Division, Civil Information and Education Section, General Headquarters, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (Japan Occupation), Tokyo--this was the formal title of "PO&SR," a research organization of about fifty Japanese social scientists, translators, and clerical workers, supervised by four or five American social scientists. Most of the Japanese scholars were men of considerable distinction in their professions; the Americans were all young, some still in graduate training. (Such disparity in experience between the American and their Japanese employees in Occupation agencies was typical.) The organization was lodged in Radio Tokyo, a large, modern office building in central Tokyo; down the hall from its offices was the small studio in which at the end of World War II Japanese technicians played the recorded surrender speech of the Emperor. The Civil Information and Education Section (CI&E) of which the PO&SR Division was a part was one of the several major bodies that constituted the Supreme Command for the Allied Powers--"SCAP"--or the central Tokyo bureaucracy of the Japan Occupation, headed by the General Douglas MacArthur.
From the beginning of the Occupation various informal or semiofficial organizations had been assigned the job of collecting information on the many reforms the Japanese were guided to undertake by the Occupation ("guided," because in the Occupation it was officially held that the Japanese were never ordered to do anything). This collection of data was necessary because of the language barrier, since while Japanese sources of information were relatively abundant, very few Americans could read Japanese well enough to use these sources in their original form, and obtaining translations was a constant problem. And of course the Japanese data were thin in certain key areas, above all in "public opinion," a phenomenon cherished by Americans, who feel that social change should be liked as well as endured. Another stimulus for research was the general and growing sense of mystery about how the Japanese did things in their complicated society. Numerous reforms seemed to fan out over the surface and vanish; others had unexpected results; and in almost all cases, Americans in "command" positions had difficult determining just who had the responsibility in Japanese organizations.
In response to these various needs (exploited, of course, by a few Americans in uniform who preferred research above anything else), the Public Opinion and Sociological Research Unit was established in the Analysis and Research Division of the CI&E Section early in 1946. The unit began operations with a small uniformed staff of social scientists (transferred from other assignments) who devoted themselves to assessing the operations of the numerous public opinion agencies which had mushroomed in Japan after the surrender. (The Japanese, like Americans, were anxious about what people thought, and once the authoritarian political system was eliminated, devices for finding out sprang up on all sides.) Opinion surveys of direct interest to Occupation officials were translated, analyzed, and evaluated-- especially the latter, since this early Japanese work was crude--and a number of original surveys were carried out with members of the Japanese organizations (see Passin, 1951). The Japanese were delighted to participate, for it meant free instruction in technique. This work of the unit was under the direction of Herbert Passin and John Pelzel.
By 1948, the unit had begun making sociological field studies and increasing the scope of cooperative research with Japanese survey agencies. The unit had accumulated many data on Japanese institutions, and it began planning research with an eye to basic social problems. Since the number of requests for studies from Occupation offices exceeded the capacity of the unit, the desirability of some change came under discussion. By this time too the uniformed staff had been restored to civilian status, and with this arose a keener interest in professional activities--that is, they began agitation for expansion. Since prestige and authority are vital considerations in bureaucracy, it was felt necessary to import a number of distinguished American social scientist to make a study of the unit's future. Consequently, Clyde Kluckhohn, Herbert Hyman, and Raymond Bowers visited Japan at the invitation of SCAP. These men toured the country, talking to Japanese social scientists and opinion survey people, and wrote several detailed reports on the inadequacies of the situation they observed and the needs for the future. Their final report became the basis of an official "staff study," which was presented to MacArthur's chief of staff on 20 September 1947 by Donald R. Nugent, chief of the CI&E Section. The recommended new organization, in the opinion of the chief of staff, was much too elaborate, and the plans were not approved. In personal correspondence with the authors of the present volume concerning the team of visiting experts, Kluckhohn noted that the time was too short for effective action and that about the week he left he finally knew his way around well enough and was well enough known to be in a position to advocate what needed to be done. Kluckhohn also observed that the CI&E Section was the weakest of the big staff sections, with little prestige "topside," and this meant that its officials were unable or unwilling to press hard for the expansion. He felt that if the team had stayed in Japan another two months, and had used more judicious techniques with the top brass, more might have been accomplished.
However, all was not lost. In 1948, as part of the SCAP "visiting expert" program, Dr. Florence Powdermaker, psychiatrist, was sent to Japan as a consultant on social research. After extensive travel and interviewing, and a thorough study of the existing unit and the earlier staff study, Dr. Powdermaker recommended that the work and staff be employed in a more modest direction. This was soon accomplished by simply transferring social scientists languishing in other divisions of CI&E to the unit. While this was taking place, an efficiency committee within SCAP was streamlining the whole organization, and after an investigation by this group, Dr. Powdermaker's insistence on division status for PO&SR (also recommended by the Kluckhohn team) was approved. Disputes with other Occupation agencies (discussed later) were resolved, and the unit became a division in October 1948. John C. Pelzel was announced as division chief, with Herbert Passin as deputy chief. The original staff consisted of Tamie Tsuchiyama, Cynthia Mazo, and David L. Sills. John W. Bennett joined the division in late 1948, and became chief when Pelzel returned to the United States in 1949. Later additions were James T. Thayer and Iwao Ishino. The Japanese staff remained at about fifty throughout PO&SR's existence. The division was "deactivated" on 30 June 1951.
During its lifetime the division was engaged primarily in research and writing, with advisory and consultative work a secondary function (see Bennett, 1952). Some thirty-two attitude surveys, two sociological monographs, and one brief psychological study were mimeographed and circulated within Headquarters. In addition, about thirty special memorandums and reports were issued to interested agencies in typewritten form. One major sociological study, The Japanese Village in Transition (Raper and others, 1950), was lithoprinted and distributed fairly widely in the United States. It has since become the foundation for a series of re-studies of the same communities by various American and Japanese scholars.
In addition to research activities, members of the staff acted as consultants to Japanese opinion polling agencies, and in a number of cases trained their top personnel. The most important polling agency during this period was the Nation Public Opinion Institute, a Japanese government organization established in the prime minister's office as a specific project of the PO&SR Division, and for a long time the division's major instrument for survey research. The staff of the division also devoted considerable time to lectures and to giving advice on research in social science to Japanese universities, and they were required as well to brief SCAP officials and agencies on topics of mutual interest. Occasionally foreign newspaper correspondents and visiting VIP's were briefed by division officers.
Some of the public opinion surveys at regular intervals sampled attitudes on a variety of topics concerning the Occupation reform program and "social trends" in Japan. Most of the surveys, however, were devoted to single topics and issues--for example, prostitution, the land reform, financial reforms, marriage, status of women, the population problem, and international relations (see Thayer, 1951). Such surveys were always made with careful attention to social strata and cultural patterns, and we were always conscious of our professional obligation to look into basic issues in the study of Japanese life.
The sociological and social anthropological researches went much further in this direction (see Bennett, 1951). Examples are studies on the social effects of the land reform (the findings were published in The Japanese Village in Transition); on social and economic aspects of arrangements concerning fishery rights in coastal communities; on the organization of neighborhood associations and their history; on labor boss organizations; on the socioeconomic structures of forestry communities; and on the range and variety of family and household composition. Most of the data for these studies were acquired in the course of detailed investigations made in the field--for example, the forestry research required two field trips of about two months' duration, with a total of twelve field workers. In addition to field studies, the sociological research also utilized reports and original data from field work carried out by Japanese social scientists attached to the division.
In addition to these major studies, the division supervised a number of specialized or small-scale research projects, such as Minoru Go's study of slang terms and jargon of the Tokyo underworld. Many translations of key documents on Japanese society were also made. In Appendix A [in the original publication of this chapter] we present a list of desirable research topics as they appeared in Dr. Powdermaker's original report to SCAP. While we did not use this list as a formal program, our work on the whole followed its major topical emphases: (1) problems of the relationship between the state and the public; (2) forms of social control by tradition and hierarchical organizations; and (3) social relationships in the economic system.
Conspicuous by its absence among the topics of research is education. Aside from one or two public opinion studies, both brief, PO&SR did no research on educational reforms--even though we were part of other CI&E Sections. Our failure here was due principally to the fact that the Education Division rarely requested our services and we rarely felt it appropriate to press its staff for a request. In the background lay the familiar tension between educationists and social scientists which were carried into the Occupation. In addition, we thought that the Education Division was fundamentally uninterested in the effects of its reforms. In our view, it conceived of its function as that of making basic structural changes in the school system and revising a few textbooks, but not as molding the minds and experiences of the new generation. This attitude prevailed in CI&E: the section was hardly a vital force in reorientation of Japanese thinking.
B. The Aftermath: A Research Program in Japanese Social Relations
Before we take up other aspects of PO&SR's work, we should describe the organization which succeeded it after the division's "deactivation" in 1951. During the final year of the division's activities, plans were made by some of the staff members for preserving and publishing of the original research data. This was deemed important not only because of our professional attachments, but because the official research reports hardly did justice to the materials. Most of these official reports pertained to topics of specific interest to the initiating SCAP agency and its Japanese governmental twin, and it goes without saying that far more data were collected than just the amount necessary to satisfy these obligations. The staff maintained at all times its interest in basic social science and in the general characteristics of Japanese culture, and utilized opportunities to acquire information on these matters. Hence many of our projects were not only "applied" or "program" research, but also scholarly studies.
The data were transferred to Ohio State University by the authors of this book with the intention of setting up a small research and analysis organization to see the materials through publication. Bennett acquired a contract to perform this task from the Office of Naval Research in 1952, and was able to bring Iwao Ishino to the campus from his research assignment in the Ryukyus. Michio Nagai, now of Tokyo Technological University, became a full-time research associate. The organization was given the name "Research Program in Japanese Social Relations" (RJSR). Additional grants-in-aid from the Rockefeller Foundation permitted the group to carry on its work and a research contract from the Social Science Research Council in 1953 extended RJSR activities into a study of Japanese education abroad--a study to which Herbert Passin gave his services, as did Bennett and Ishino (see Bennett, Passin, and McKnight, 1958).
The RJSR staff proceeded to analyze and reanalyze the PO&SR data, issuing a series of mimeographed technical reports and preparing a number of articles in professional periodicals. This book [as originally published] consists of revisions of certain of these materials, particularly those concerning the relationships between the Japanese economy and social organization. The village and family research will be combined with the materials collected in a re-study made in Japan in 1959, and will be published separately.
C. Research in a Military Occupation: Liabilities and Assets
We may now turn to consideration of the setting in which the PO&SR Division conducted its activities.
First must be noted our position in the bureaucratic structure of SCAP, a title referring mainly to an assemblage of organizations located in Tokyo, involved in the planning of reforms in Japanese society, and working directly with the Japanese government. In addition to SCAP, there existed an entity known as the Far Eastern Command, also captained by MacArthur, and concerned with the military side of the Occupation and its Ryukyuan extension. Finally, there was the Eighth Army and its military government, which did not really govern, only supervised and shepherded, since the SCAP agencies and the Japanese government possessed the real power. All this meant that PO&SR was located in the topmost echelon of the Occupation, SCAP--not shunted into military organizations or buried in an ambiguous military government.
However, in this elite hierarchy, PO&SR occupied a lowly position--like the lieutenant, closest to the men, but still within the officer corps. Within SCAP, we were located in the lowest ranking of the large organizations know as "staff sections." These staff sections were based on the standard breakdown of functions in the military Table of Organization (intelligence, quartermaster, finance, etc.), but modified to suit the needs of the reformist and housekeeping enterprise of the Occupation. Hence there were sections devoted to government, natural resources, health and welfare, economic and scientific activities, and education (and a few others, not important in the present context). Each of these major sections, except Natural Resources and Civil Information and Education, was headed by an Army officer with the rank of general. Natural Resources had an Army colonel, geologist Hubert Schenk. CI&E has a lieutenant colonel of Marines, Donald R. Nugent. The relatively low prestige position of CI&E reflected the pervasive conception within SCAP that MacArthur was his own propagandist and social reformer--that is, a conception that changes in educational patterns and in the ideas held by a population are most effectively handled by personal presence, pronouncements, great deeds, rather than by bureaucratic manipulation of the society or its media. Hence while CI&E was a large staff section, and did a lot of work, it never received the firm support and credit enjoyed by the others, and it must be said that its personnel were--at least toward the end--not as energetic or as dedicated to action and reform as those of other sections. Robert Textor has seen this as the primary failure of the Occupation: its most important reform, education, was mishandled and even downgraded by Headquarters (see Textor, 1951).
The next point of importance is that PO&SR, according to plan, had no "command function": that is, it could not initiate reforms or directives, nor could it "order" the Japanese to do anything. The implications of this go beyond the matter of relationship with the Japanese population, for in a military occupations one's position in the "chain of command" over the "indigenous personnel" determines one's general status within the commanding organization. Hence nothing PO&SR said or did could have any official influence on any Occupation agency or individual; the lack of command authority over Japanese meant lack of the same over Americans. Any suggestions we might make in place or procedure would have to filter though to the organization concerned by routes other than the official ones if they were to have decisive influence. To put this concretely: a report on a research project requested by another SCAP agency would be "forwarded through channels" to that agency. This meant that the report had to pass through the hand of many persons on its way through SCAP. It can be seen that if the agency wanted the report soon, or if we wanted it to have influence, the information and the recommendations had to be got to the right persons in some other manner. When the channels included Japanese government officials and offices the methods of conveying the information could become devious indeed.
Within the CI&E Section itself, PO&SR had an anomalous position--neither high nor low. Our lack of command function made us difficult to classify, since we could enjoy relationships of absolute equality and comradeship with Japanese. Most other divisions of CI&E had command functions, and hence a barrier between them and the Japanese had been erected. Collectively, the PO&SR staff were considered by most other CI&E people as "oddballs." We say with some pride that in our judgment, those members of the CI&E staff who did not so consider us--for example, John Sullivan, now of the Asia Foundation--were among the ablest persons in the section, and those with the most insight. That is, they understood the need for research and, above all, the need for some person highly placed in the Occupation to mingle with the Japanese on equal terms. And of course they detested bureaucracy and, like us, devised means for outwitting it.
Relationships with the chief of CI&E were on the whole good. Colonel Nugent appreciated the need for research, and did his best to "implement our function" by permitting us to operate in ways often strange to military bureaucratic practices. However, there were limitations: the low-ranking positions of CI&E in SCAP meant that our research had to be carefully scrutinized by Colonel Nugent for possible offensive content, and solidly "cleared topside" before it was undertaken. Much frustration due to these complications accompanied the research effort from beginning to end, and considerable time was devoted, especially by David Sills and Bennett, to the devising of techniques designed to convince various officials concerned with passing upon our activities--including our own chief of section. These techniques all were based on one simple fact: whatever research we chose to do had to be requested by another SCAP agency and supported by strong letters of endorsement from the most powerful persons in that agency.
This introduces the topic of how the research was planned. First of all, according to our official mandate, we were a kind of contract research agency. Other SCAP organizations were free to call upon our services. In a few cases this actually happened; that is, an agency called us out of the blue and asked us to consider doing a project. This formal procedure was followed most often in the case of public opinion studies, but was really never followed in sociological research. Here a different method evolved. Facetiously this may be called the "cocktail party" approach. The PO&SR staff, as its knowledge of Japanese institutions developed, was able to formulate its own conceptions of what research needed to be done--both for illuminating the course of reform and for ascertaining the key factors in Japanese society and culture which would underlie the adaptations taking place. As students of the Japanese situation, the staff members were also intimately acquainted with activities in other staff sections, particularly Economic and Scientific, Natural Resources, and Public Health and Welfare. At "cocktail parties"--that is, through various forms of personal association--it was possible for PO&SR people to initiate research, merely by helping their friends in the "action" programs to formulate questions and problems. The studies that are reported in this book were all planned this way. Once the informal arrangements had been made, official "requests" for PO&SR services were "forwarded through channels," and the study would get under way.
When research had begun, PO&SR was relatively free to formulate the hypotheses and data categories in any way it saw fit. At all times this involved a careful balance between immediate practical ends and long-range questions about Japanese society. The staff operated on the proposition that applied or program social research is meaningful precisely to the extent that it is based on a knowledge of social structure and cultural patterning. We were able, of course, to use this reasoning as a convenient justification for acquiring basic knowledge of Japanese society--a goal which, as professional scholars, we all shared.
The circumstances surrounding our study of oyabun-kobun phenomena provide an example of the complex relationship between practical problems and theory. The initial concern with oyabun-kobun pertained to the criminal aspect of the system. Occupation agencies and police had become aware of large criminal syndicates through their investigation of black marketing and other activities. A number of the American newpapermen accredited to SCAP had made their own investigations (see Costello, 1948), and Herbert Passin, then a uniformed Army officer, was consulted by them for expert knowledge. After careful and delicate negotiations with Japanese go-betweens, Passin and the reporters were taken by kobun of one of the big gang leaders by a roundabout route to a secret rendezvous on Tokyo Bay, where they embarked on a boat, then transferred to another boat, and finally arrived at what looked like a small fishing fleet. One of the fishing craft was surrounded by nets, so that no one could approach it without the cooperation of the crew. The "big boss" was on this boat, "like a spider in the center of his web" (as Passin in personal correspondence described it), where he entertained the visitors with sake and banter for an hour or two. Passin reported on this meeting, and got into difficulties with his commanding officer as a result. A year or so later, oyabun-kobun phenomena became the concern of the Labor Division, which was interested in reforms to eliminate exploitative tendencies among labor suppliers. The earlier reports on oyabun groups by Passin and the reporters were studied, and from the accumulated knowledge, a research project was set up by PO&SR. From the outset this project was based on the practical needs and the journalistic background information as well as on our general understandings of Japanese social structure and its history. The research reported in this book emphasized the latter; our reports to the official agencies emphasized the practical.
A word should be said about the topics we were forbidden to do research upon. These were the "sensitive" issues: anything which might indicate General MacArthur's popularity standing among the Japanese people and any consideration of those Occupation programs which might attract the attention of American religious groups. With regard to MacArthur, the prevailing doctrine in GHQ was that the "Chief" was unchallengeable, above the mortal realm, and unconcerned with such issues as "popularity." His name could not be used in a public opinion survey sponsored or directed by PO&SR, and research touching upon any program or policy he had identified himself with publicly had to be cleared with great caution. While there was no actual rule to prevent the Japanese from making surveys on MacArthur's presence or his personal policy, none were made during the Occupation, and a few attempts, or at least the publication of some frank comments, resulted in strong reactions from Occupation officials. The Japanese also were characteristically sensitive to the atmosphere within the Occupation, and usually sailed with the prevailing wind.
With respect to PO&SR studies of particular programs disliked by American groups, there was one major debacle. For a period of five months the staff and the Japanese survey research agency in the prime minister's office planned an elaborate public attitude study of the population problem. American demographers P.K. Whelpton and Warren Thompson had been sent to Japan in order to help with this study. Since the study was to be PO&SR's most ambitious undertaking in attitude surveying, a special cadre of forty Japanese college students had been recruited as interviewers by the American staff and transported to Tokyo at great expense. Training sessions were held during the week preceding the study. Two days before the interviewers were to enter the field, news of the research penetrated to the chief of staff, who notified the chief of CI&E that General MacArthur had issued a directive to go easy on all pronouncements and programs dealing with population control, since religious groups were protesting against the Occupations' role in this sphere of social policy. The chief of CI&E cautiously advised Bennett to hold up the study until he could describe it in detail to the chief of staff. This was done, and the response took the form of orders to cancel it. The special interviewers had to be paid off with emergency funds and sent home. Some two months later, the prime minister's survey agency simply did the study "on its own"; that is, PO&SR, although it assisted, did so unofficially. Since the prime minister's agency was originally scheduled to do the survey, it would have been easy to go ahead with the study in the first instance, PO&SR simply avoiding identification with it. This possibility had been vigorously argued by Bennett, but orders were orders, and the study had to be canceled.
This incident does highlight an important feature of our research strategy. We have mentioned our fortunate (and planned-for) lack of command relationships with the Japanese people. In addition, we avoided the possibility of our research taking on the character of espionage by having Japanese do most of the field work. This was always the case in public opinion research, where all but a very few studies were not done by employees of the division, but by Japanese survey agencies. In our sociological studies, the Americans on the staff frequently did interviewing, and always accompanied the Japanese in the field, but the major share of interviewing and contact with informants was handled by the Japanese. The frustration engendered by the cancellation of the population problem study was intensified by the fact that our role had been that of planning and not execution, as was the general rule in most of our activities.
As the Occupation drew to its close, and the Korean War had its effect on Japanese-American relations, these cautious policies began to relax somewhat. The Asahi and Yomiuri newspaper public opinion agencies approached PO&SR with a plan to run a series of surveys on Japanese attitudes toward the Korean War and other important international events. Permission was granted by the authorities, perhaps mainly because GHQ was understandably interested in the reactions of the Japanese to the American difficulties and embarrassments in Korea. In these surveys specific questions pertaining to General MacArthur's role that the popularity of the Occupation were asked for the first time.
PO&SR had one major "enemy" within SCAP and GHQ--although the battle was confined to the early days during the founding of PO&SR, and declared a draw thereafter. One of the major staff sections was G-2--Intelligence--headed by Major General Charles Willoughby, who achieved public attention in the States with his reports and book on the Sorge espionage case. This powerful agency had established, in the first days of the Occupation, the Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD), a huge office devoted to reading Japanese mail and listening in on telephone calls, and a series of field offices, the Civil Intelligence Corps (CIC), which used the term "public opinion" to describe the classified mimeographed results of their activities. G-2 also operated a "Press, Publications, and Broadcasting Censorship," which affected CI&E's authority in these fields. General Willoughby's attitude was at least straightforward: the Occupation was a military affair, and the obvious way to know what the conquered mind was thinking was to interrogate citizens and monitor communications. He regarded scientific attitude surveying with contempt, holding the insistence on stratified samples and the laborious interview methods to be time-consuming and productive of equivocal results at best. The founding of PO&SR became an issue of contention between Intelligence and CI&E, with General MacArthur as moderator. CI&E had a clear case, in the light of the specificity of General Orders Number 27, supporting CI&E's function to provide information on "public reactions" to the Occupation programs. In spite of this, G-2 insisted on the superiority of its operations, and pointed to the small and inadequate research output of CI&E to date.
It was finally decided to regard PO&SR as the official collector of "public opinion," and G-2 agreed not to use the term thereafter (although it did, from time to time, and even copied the PO&SR report format!). The two data-gathering functions, surveys and monitoring, were judged to be independent and complementary, not competitive, since PO&SR was barred from conducting studies of the "sensitive" issues which General Willoughby's organization studied in detail via conversations and letters. But then, nearly all PO&SR reports were freely circulated within the Occupation and outside, while the Intelligence reports were always heavily classified.
Whatever the official outcome, Intelligence succeeded in maintaining, among the military at least, its status as the data-gathering agency in the field of opinion. Among the top brass, PO&SR never even came close to the prestige and power of CCD and other Intelligence agencies, for the reason that its subject matter was restricted, and its size and output were so small. Thus, intelligence really won the power struggle, and in retrospect it must be said that scientific social research was an intensive but small-scale activity in the Japan Occupation. It is doubtful if the PO&SR staff really objected to this limited status, since they were not, in the last analysis, interested in a huge polling agency, but in sound research on programs and reforms which had basic significance for the nature of Japanese society and culture. As time went on, PO&SR devoted more of its effort to sociological studies, and proportionately less to public opinion. Towed the end, PO&SR merely had to give advice to the best of the many Japanese agencies polling the population, and then to reanalyze and interpret the Japanese data. This system was particularly important with respect to PO&SR's relationship to the prime minister's survey organization. Perhaps in retrospect, Intelligence did PO&SR a favor in ambiguously restricting its scope and size, since if we had grown into a major polling and survey organization, we might have had to ignore the kind of research represented in this book.
The limitations of PO&SR's reputation "topside" were of relatively little concern to the staff. In fact, on the whole they were welcomed, because there are advantages to anonymity in a military organization. Among those who counted--the other scholars in SCAP, the dedicated young officials in the agencies carrying out social and economic reforms, and a few high officers with knowledge and understanding of research--PO&SR enjoyed considerable prestige. This was so not only because of the nature of its function, but also because of the unique position it had vis -à-vis the Japanese. These Occupationaires recognized that the PO&SR staff enjoyed relations of unusual intimacy with the Japanese, and consequently our reports on opinion and on social trends, while few in number, were nevertheless regarded as exceptionally accurate. We enjoyed much the same status among a number of correspondents for important American newspapers.
To summarize: We have said that our role in the Occupation was that of low man on a high totem pole, and that the role had both advantages and disadvantages. The chief asset was the relative freedom to carry out research in our own way, and to initiate the kinds of important projects we wanted to do. We were also free from complex administrative responsibilities, and from the embarrassments of a "command" relationship with the Japanese. The liabilities were the restrictions on the topics of research, the subterfuges in planning and executing our research that were necessary because of our weak power position, and the difficulties in getting our message heard by the proper authorities. Our small size was itself an asset in that it permitted an intellectual intimacy and a relatively leisurely approach to research, a liability in that it curtailed the quantity of research accomplished to less than we should, or at least might, have done.
D. "Colleagueship": PO&SR's Relationship to the Japanese
We have commented upon our ability to associate with the Japanese scholars and students we employed as professional colleagues, rather than as conquerors or military superiors. Considering the fact that our research staff included only five Americans at peak strength, and about fifty Japanese of whom a dozen were professional social scientists, it is a good thing the relationship was what it was. It is doubtful if serious research could have been carried out in an office where strong, persisting hierarchical patterns existed, and where experienced researchers were not free to express themselves with candor to their less experienced communication barriers prevail. Moreover, there is in the intellectual world a kind of personal contact and intimacy which a military Occupation denies by its very nature. Frequently the PO&SR Americans found themselves protecting Japanese staff members against other Americans in the Occupation who in one way or another treated Japanese employees in unfair or bureaucratic ways.
However, the characteristic of our role as that of colleagues to the Japanese staff is misleading in one important respect: it does not accurately convey certain aspects of the behavior of the Japanese. This behavior was frequently deferential and even, from time to time, obsequious. In fact the obsequiousness-- or at least compliance--was a continual problem for the American staff. A number of the Japanese were unable to accept fully the role of equals in a professional enterprise, since they tended to feel that success in arms must mean superiority in intellect--or at least a more advanced stage of scholarship in social science. While there was some truth in the latter, it was also evident that in these attitudes and in the deferential behavior that accompanied them some Japanese staff members were displaying their hierarchical social habits. The Japanese who were least prone to behave this way were those with substantial Western orientation, or actual education and travel experience in the West--or, in general those who spoke English most fluently. Among these, the concept of "colleagueship" was established fairly early, and relations between them and the Americans grew more casual and egalitarian as time passed. It goes without saying that the Americans came to rely more and more upon these Japanese not only for linguistic reasons, because not all the American staff could speak Japanese, but also because social interchange was so easy. With the deferential Japanese, who included some of the top-flight sociologists and ethnologists working for the division, discussions tended to be slow, involved, and replete with delicate suggestions instead of forthright disagreement or recommendation.
Many of the Japanese in the office were protégés, friends, or former colleagues of persons with jobs in universities or the government. Some of the PO&SR Japanese had received their positions at the behest of these outsiders, who were trying to help out their friends, displaced in the difficult economic situation of the early Occupation period. These arrangements of course created strong bonds of obligation between the Americans, the Japanese staff members, and their outside friends. Consequently much of our research was planned with the advice and assistance of these outsiders, who gave freely of their time. Their services were always reciprocated--often many times over--by assistance given to them by the Americans in their own research and professional problems.
A special relationship existed between the PO&SR staff and Japanese employees of the public opinion agency attached to the prime minister's office. This organization (which still exists in an altered form) was established by PO&SR partly as a way of creating standards for the mushrooming public opinion industry in Japan, but also in order to have a responsible organization to run the surveys planned by the division. Some of the personnel of this organization had been trained in PO&SR, and today its former personnel are important figures in social psychology and related fields in Japanese institutions of higher learning, public opinion agencies, and the like. Somewhat comparable in-service training was given to graduate students in psychology, sociology, and anthropology, and there is little doubt that PO&SR played a major role in the rehabilitation of several of the social sciences in Japan.
In general terms PO&SR's relationship to the Japanese is an example of what the sociologist Everett Hughes has called "colleagueship": the establishing of intellectual links across political and cultural boundaries in the modern world. In some degree this spirit pervaded the entire SCAP organization, but it was impeded in most places by the "command" relationship, which erected barriers of status and rank, or reaffirmed the division into conqueror and conquered. In PO&SR, and one or two other cases, such divisions, or analogous divisions into "Japanese culture" and "American culture," were ignored or conscientiously minimized and the mutual ideological or professional interests made the focus of attention. Colleagueship has been increasing in the past decade and, in the form of inter-university exchanges and programs, foreign study and travel, has become a major factor in international relations. It is in obvious conflict with "cold war" patterns and nationalistic dichotomies. PO&SR was a small pioneer venture.
The effect on the Americans' behavior of this pattern of relationships with the Japanese deserves comment. By identifying ourselves as fellow professionals, we also identified ourselves with Japan and the Japanese--for the simple reason that we were in Japan and were striving to avoid the worst feature of the role of conqueror, or "Occupationaire." We did not "go native," as did a number of Americans, because our role as professional social scientist excluded this. We took the position that Japan was the important thing, not America, and that we, in company with the Japanese scholars, were obligated to study Japan as a social scientist would study any society. That is, intimately but also with objectivity. At the same time, we avoided overly close contact with other Americans in the Occupation, and with Occupation society in general. We mingled chiefly with those Americans who thought about Japan as we did, and this meant we excluded ourselves from most social circles of Occupation society. We took pride in the fact that we were "different" from the other Americans, and above all, the military, and we have already commented on how this created problems, as well as advantages, in the execution of our research mission.
Thus, we were in, but not of Japanese society; colleagues of the Japanese, but not blood brothers; participants in Japanese life, but also observers of that life. Our role might be compared to that of the field ethnologist fortunate enough to work in a society which has a number of educated members who can serve not merely as informants but also as fellow-ethnologists. It would be tempting to conclude that the development of this role was based on the fact that most of the American staff members had professional training in anthropology, but since those who lacked such training behaved in a similar manner the reason must be sought elsewhere. Actually one found people with this approach scattered throughout SCAP. It is, perhaps, a general role pattern in the modern world, to be found among many intellectuals and professionals, and Hughes' concept of colleagueship is a good description. In some of the later RJSR research in the United States on Japanese educated abroad, we used the term "intercultural adjustor" to describe similar behavior on the part of some of the Japanese studying in the United States.
E. Practical Accomplishments
What effect did the work of our division have on the Occupation and its program? First, we had no important influence on policy-making at the top level of the Occupation. This was inherent in our weak power position, but it was also to be expected in light of the fact that ultimately policies in SCAP were based on ideological rather than scientific considerations. The land reform, the status of women, governmental changes, labor organization--all these things and many more on which we did research were reforms based on the objective of "democratization."
Second, we did have some influence at lower levels of policy, and at the "implementation" level, even though we were frequently called in after the program was already under way. One of Herbert Passin's early sociological studies, on fishery rights, influenced the course of reform in the ownership and water rights system in Japanese fishing communities, although the decision to make the reforms was of course a "given" in the situation. Several public attitude surveys also influenced the conduct of reforms they had reference to, and in some cases substantially changed the direction of reform as originally conceived. In one or two cases where ideological policy was uncertain, PO&SR research did, in effect, change top policy. The most conspicuous case here concerned the control of prostitution. The Occupation had been considering a directive urging the Japanese government to pass a bill outlawing prostitution, but was understandably cautious (the Japanese government finally did so in 1957, mainly as a result of pressures from women's organizations). A PO&SR national survey, perhaps our most elaborate attitude study, was a major factor in convincing the Legal Section that such a directive, at the time, would be unwise. Our survey report did not specifically recommend this; it simply made clear to the Legal Section that at the time the institutions of prostitution, and Japanese attitudes towards sex and related matters, were so interwoven with other parts of Japanese society and had little negative moral significance that legal action would be confusing to most Japanese and of course extremely difficult to enforce.
A more typical effect of our research on the implementing of policies and on procedures is found in the studies of labor bosses and forestry. In both cases, PO&SR was called in to participate in an ongoing program of reform or change, in order to help explain successes and failures already in evidence. Our research thus involved an advisory function, since we worked intimately with the SCAP people directly concerned with the programs. On the labor boss problem, we were asked by the Labor Division of the Economic and Scientific Section to determine why the Yokohama dockyards had been so efficiently cleared of the boss system, while other Japanese industries, in spite of some changes and laws, continued to have flourishing bosses. In the forestry study, we worked with the Forestry Division of the Natural Resources Section in order to clarify important social and economic factors which were involved in the development of effective controls on the over-cutting of forests. In these, and in other cases, we had a direct impact on the particular programs, but it is hard to summarize our influence. Quite often our influence was expected in the form of generalized advice and counsel, rather than as specific research results or formal recommendations.
Aside from research, the division had considerable influence in the more diffuse sphere of attitudes. Here our "briefing" function was important. From time to time PO&SR staff members would be called upon to talk to important military or SCAP officials who were about to engage in particular programs, or who were en route to new assignments. A typical case involved the Ryukyu Islands command: the development of a social research program in the military government of the islands can be attributed in part to several briefing sessions Bennett had with one of the commanding generals who passed through SCAP on his way to Okinawa. Another example concerns our role vis -à-vis newpapermen. From time to time foreign correspondents assigned to SCAP would call on us for background information on particular SCAP policies and programs. Our services here, purely informal and off the record, were influential in helping these men form judgments about the course of Occupation policy. And aside from such formal and informal briefing, our personal conversations with numerous SCAP officials, and with military government teams throughout Japan during our field trips, served to acquaint these people with the complicated Japanese background for their activities and directives.
It was, in fact, this informational function which constituted our major service to the Occupation. As social scientists, our unique contribution lay in our ability to search for and interpret fundamental patterns of Japanese life--not to join in the making of policy or the carrying out of specific plans and programs. To us, "applied social science" was not so much applied in as allied to the world of affairs; we tended to avoid the contradictions and biases inherent in participative roles. In this view, we rejected the oversimplified distinction between "pure" and "applied" social science; we tried to execute research with full attention to the methodological and theoretical demands of science, in the belief that our most important service would be to provide information on Japanese society. We insisted at all times that it was necessary to view Japan as a complex modern nation with a culture of antiquity and depth, deserving of the utmost respect--and not as a backward, untrustworthy people. Like other Occupationaires, we were convinced of the need to change Japanese society in certain ways, but we also made no bones about our convictions that many of the reforms were being carried out in a blind and ignorant fashion, without due respect for Japanese tradition and social complexity.
In retrospect, we believe that out techniques for doing social research in a military occupation were appropriate and efficient. A military occupation by its very nature is unsympathetic to the kind of intimate relationships and cooperation with "indigenous personnel" needed in order to carry out research of any kind. And the rigidities of bureaucracy will always impede research effort. By avoiding "command functions" we were able to develop close relationships with the Japanese. By having Japanese organizations handle our public opinion surveys we avoided the espionage or "intelligence" role. And by working out methods of outwitting regulations and circumventing channels we were able to do the research we wanted to do most of the time.