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Sex and censorship during the occupation of Japan

Journal Article


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Abstract


  • Historian of sexuality Shimokawa Kōshi has described the first three years of the Occupation, from 1945 to 1948, as a time of “sexual anarchy,” 1 and it is true that many accounts describe the early postwar years as a period of “sexual liberation.” Igarashi Yoshikuni, in particular, has stressed the very visceral sense of release that many Japanese people experienced at the war’s end.2 As we saw in the previous chapter, the militarist authorities had established pervasive surveillance and censorship mechanisms that seriously constrained the expression of sexuality by men and particularly by women. Prostitution was tightly controlled and limited to specific licensed areas, unmarried male and female couples had almost no opportunity to mingle socially, and sexual expression in the press was stymied by the threat of prosecution by the “thought police.” All these restrictions were removed within the first few months of the Occupation.

Publication Date


  • 2012

Citation


  • McLelland, M. J. 2012, ''Sex and censorship during the occupation of Japan'', The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, vol. 10, no. 37, p. September 10.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2555&context=artspapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/artspapers/1536

Start Page


  • September 10

Volume


  • 10

Issue


  • 37

Place Of Publication


  • http://www.japanfocus.org/-Mark-McLelland/3827

Abstract


  • Historian of sexuality Shimokawa Kōshi has described the first three years of the Occupation, from 1945 to 1948, as a time of “sexual anarchy,” 1 and it is true that many accounts describe the early postwar years as a period of “sexual liberation.” Igarashi Yoshikuni, in particular, has stressed the very visceral sense of release that many Japanese people experienced at the war’s end.2 As we saw in the previous chapter, the militarist authorities had established pervasive surveillance and censorship mechanisms that seriously constrained the expression of sexuality by men and particularly by women. Prostitution was tightly controlled and limited to specific licensed areas, unmarried male and female couples had almost no opportunity to mingle socially, and sexual expression in the press was stymied by the threat of prosecution by the “thought police.” All these restrictions were removed within the first few months of the Occupation.

Publication Date


  • 2012

Citation


  • McLelland, M. J. 2012, ''Sex and censorship during the occupation of Japan'', The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, vol. 10, no. 37, p. September 10.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2555&context=artspapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/artspapers/1536

Start Page


  • September 10

Volume


  • 10

Issue


  • 37

Place Of Publication


  • http://www.japanfocus.org/-Mark-McLelland/3827