Photographs that document the Japan’s transformation in the 1950s

After World War II ended, surrendering Japan was devastated. All major cities, industries and transport networks were badly damaged. The acute shortage of food continued for many years.

Allied forces led by the United States occupied the nation and began the resettlement of the Japanese state. Between 1945 and 1952, the US occupation forces led by General Douglas A. MacArthur implemented extensive military, political, economic, and social reforms.

Occupations such as the Taika Reformation of the 7th century and the Meiji Restoration 80 years earlier, represented a period of rapid social and institutional change based on the borrowing and incorporation of foreign models.

The general principles of Japan's proposed regime were written down in the Potsdam Declaration and clarified in US government policy statements prepared and forwarded to MacArthur in August 1945.

The gist of these policies was simple and straightforward: the demilitarization of Japan so that it would not again become a threat to peace; democratization, meaning that, while no particular form of government would be imposed on the Japanese, efforts would be made to develop a political system under which individual rights would be guaranteed and protected; and the establishment of an economy that can adequately support a peaceful and democratic Japan.

Armed forces were dismantled and millions of Japanese soldiers and civilians were repatriated overseas. The empire was dissolved. State Shinto were displaced, nationalist organizations were abolished and their members removed from important positions. Japan's ordnance industries were destroyed.

In the economic sphere, the Allies introduced land reform, which was designed to benefit majority tenant farmers and reduce the power of wealthy landowners, many of whom advocated war, and in the 1930s the Japanese Supported expansionism.

MacArthur tried to disband the large Japanese business conglomerate, or zaibatsu, as part of an effort to convert the economy to a free market capitalist system.

Cooperation between the Japanese and the Allied powers worked out relatively smoothly. When the United States began to act increasingly according to its own interests in the Cold War, critics began to mount, resuming communist persecution, deploying more troops to Japan, and writing anti-war articles to Japan. Despite this, he wanted to establish his own self-defense force. in the constitution.

Many aspects of the so-called "reverse course" of the occupation were welcomed by conservative Japanese politicians.

With the peace treaty that came into force in 1952, the occupation ended. The Japan Self-Defense Force was established in 1954, with large public demonstrations.

From 1952 to 1973, Japan experienced rapid economic growth and social change. By 1952, Japan had finally recovered its pre-war industrial production.

Thereafter, the economy expanded at unprecedented rates. At the same time, economic growth and industrialization supported the emergence of a mass consumer society.

Large numbers of Japanese who previously lived in villages became urbanized; Tokyo, which had a population of about three million in 1945, had grown to about nine million by 1970.

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