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Japan Special Collection: Stanley Kaizawa Collection: SCAP/CCD

Collection guide to the Stanley Y. Kaizawa Collecion

Censorship and Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD), October 1945-November 1949

USS Monterey On September 3, 1945, General MacArthur placed the CCD under Military intelligence (G-2). Lt. Earle Ernst (later Dr. Ernst of the UHM Theatre & Dance) was assigned to the Military Intelligence Service on October 1945 and he arrived in Japan in November 1945 and the CCD’s Theatrical Section was under his command. Stanley Kaizawa was also assigned to the CCD in September 1945 and he arrived in Japan in December 1945. See transfer order.

See the caption by Kaizawa: SKalb2-001

  Kaizawa arrived in Japan 1945 SKalb2-030

What did the CCD do?

The censorship regulation states, in part, “We are not going to tell you (Japanese theater people) what to present; however, it is hoped that the theater will do a great extent break away from the past and live with the people in the future….You can make a significant contribution toward building a free democratic Japan. It is up to you, you are the artists and artists live best in a free democratic nation.” According to Dr. Brandon’s Myth and Reality: A story of kabuki during American censorship, 1945-1949 (p. 12, in Asian Theatre Journal, vo. 23, no. 1, spring 2006), the practice is described as follows:

  • A theatre producer was required to submit the play script to the CCD Theatre Sub-Section for approval.
  • A Japanese national examined the script for violation of the code such as praise of militarism or feudalism, anti-democratic ideas, untruthful history, or criticism of the Allies or the Occupation.
  • The Japanese national’s recommendation was forwarded to a supervisor, usually a Nisei. He forwarded it to a censor for action.
  • The censor made a decision: “pass”, “pass with deletions,” or “suppress.”

The censor placed a “PC (passed censorship)” Stamp on the title page of a passed script. Notations if any such as “deletion of a word of samurai, revenge, loyalty, etc.” were written on the page. Example 1 "Bancho Sarayashiki"  : Example 2 "Hikosan Gongen" : Example 3 "Sannin Katawa"

Life of Censors during and after the Occupation of Japan

Stanley Kaizawa joined the CCD Theatrical Sub-Section along with other Military Intelligence Service Language School (MISL) graduates (See MIS Language School Transfer List 1945) that included nisei enlisted men and caucasian officers (Nisei were prohibited from serving as officers at that time). He closely worked with Earle Ernst from December 1945 - May 1947.

Nisei linguists at work in Japan  SKalb2-117  Kaizawa at work 1946 SKalb3-025  Ernst at CCD office in Japan  SKalb2-166

The CCD censors went to see many kabuki plays and stage performances together (See permissions).

The CCD members routinely traveled as a group to cities throughout Japan to explain censorship policies and procedures to local producers, troupe heads, and theatre owners (See travel orders).

Kaizawa and Calhoun in Akina in 1946  SKalb2-136  kaizawa in Akita in 1946  SKalb2-135  Kaizawa in Yamagata in 1946 SKalb2-143  Kaizawa and Calhoun in Japan, 1946  SKalb2-128

See also Brandon/Kaizawa Interview  p. 3 on June 13, 2000

Interestingly, several of the censors befriended famous Kabuki actors who presented them with a variety of kabuki photographs. Stanley Kaizawa’s albums are filled with photos of kabuki actors, performances, and memorabilia from that era.

Kaizawa with Ichikawa Danjuro Kaizawa box 16-001  Shoroku during Narukami play  SKalb1-066

Some of the censors became serious fans of kabuki and later obtained advanced education and promoted kabuki either as educators, play critics, or simply as admirers of kabuki. Stanley Kaizawa returned to Japan after the Occupation and took “kouta 小唄 lessons (Japanese traditional ballad accompanied on the samisen) (see his own writing of Gion kouta), and learned some kabuki kata (forms). Dr. Earle Ernst directed kabuki at the University of Hawai‘i and founded the UHM Asian Theatre Program (Earle Ernst Papers is at the UHM Library’s Archives & Manuscripts).

Kaizawa learning Kouta in Japan  Kaizawa box 13-012