Major writers such as william faulkner and ernest

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Unformatted text preview: movies became widely available again, some 38 percent of the theatres through- Culture in the Present Age 305 out the country were devoted exclusively to the showing of films from America in which capacity crowds saw, day after day, “the refrigerators, cars, modern houses, highways and all the other accoutrements of the ‘Good Life.’ ”2 As in other war-torn countries, luxury commodities such as cigarettes, chocolate, chewing gum, and nylon stockings were coveted in Japan in gross disproportion to their intrinsic values. Prostitution and other forms of fraternization between GIs and Japanese girls became commonplace and highly conspicuous. It was also a time when Americans arrogantly believed that their civilization, if not they themselves, had been proved superior in the modern world. To the Japanese, ever sensitive to matters of face, the swaggering of some GIs must have seemed almost intolerably humiliating. Yet the Occupation was a considerable success, at least if judged by the extraordinary cooperation between occupiers and occupied and by the new, extremely favorable national attitude the Japanese came to hold toward Americans and the United States. This attitude can be observed, for example, in postwar popularity polls in which for years the Japanese identified the United States as their favorite foreign country or the country they most admired. The stated goals of the Occupation were to “demilitarize and democratize” Japan. In the name of the former goal the country was stripped of the overseas empire it had painstakingly acquired during the preceding half-century; its army and navy were demobilized and its remaining war machinery dismantled; war criminals—including former Prime Minister (and General) Tòjò Hideki (1884–1948)—were brought to trial; and militarily tainted people were extensively purged from government, business, and other sectors of society. In keeping with MacArthur’s utopian vision of making Japan the Switzerland of the Far East, a provision wa...
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2013 for the course ANTH 142 taught by Professor Hans during the Spring '13 term at UBC.

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