Asahi Picture News Magazine

These are some Japanese magazines that I managed to obtain. They are the size of Life magazine, and are entirely black and white except for some of the covers. Some of the issues have short explanations in English of what is being shown, and some are entirely in Japanese.

Since the magazines are so big, I was unable to use them on my scanner so I took photos of them, which is why some of the images are not as clear as I would like them to be. Many of the descriptions are taken directly from the magazine.

January 16, 1952

Apparently they are filming a movie about World War II. Noting the models of the American planes on the right side page.

January 23, 1952

Some kind of theatrical performance.

February 20, 1952

More of the theater world in Japan.

March 26, 1952

A pretty girl studying.

April 9, 1952

No English explanation, but it's apparent the gentlemen carves beautiful things out of ice.

May 21, 1952

The issue has a number of pages dealing with some kind of riot.

June 4, 1952

More theater-related material.

July 30, 1952

This is one of the issues that had no English translation, so I have no idea what is going on here, but whatever it is it's sort of strange.

Notice this ad, with the triumphant samurai warrior standing over a somewhat startled looking tiger.

September 3, 1952

Quick Conversion: Miss Yaeko Mizutani, one of our leading stage actresses, appears in five different plays every day, taking roles of ChoCho-San of Madam Butterfly, a fireman's brave wife, a writer's neurotic wife, a romantic miss, and a gentel housewife. Indefatigable Yaeko Mizutani changes costumes sometimes fourteen times between 11 AM and 10 PM. but there isn't any law to prohibit this kind of labor...says she.

September 10, 1952

Basin Paddling. The Tenryu River is a scenic spot in central Japan. It has sources in the Japan Alps and flows into the Pacific Ocean at a point of 45 miles southwest of Mt. Fuji. Sometime ago, a man (pictured on the left page, wearing sun-glasses) went down the river paddling a wash-basin. He found it a lot of fun. People followed him and a basin paddling group was organized. Doen the river here they go wet with splashes and startling trouts.

September 24, 1952

In co-operation with election control agencies, members of th Japan's Housewife Association strongly advocate Fair Elections. Japan's first post-independence national election campaign is in full swing as illustrated here.

Japan can't be a self-supporting nation because only 20 percent of the total area of the country is arable. Rice is still rationed here and one fourth of Japan's total food consumption is obtained from other countries. Promotion of foreign trade is the best solution. But if any foreign country blockades Japan, life of the whole nation will be endangered. Hence the food policy is the biggest issue among Japan's domestic policies.

Seamen and street walkers flood Yokosuka when the U.S. Fleet arrives. It creates a serious social problem, but the fun lovers don't seem to mind any harsh criticism on the part of the public. Japan faces a serious problem in the post-war era.

Out of 40,000 elementary school buildings in Japan, 8,000 are listed as unsafe.Some of these schools train their children for emergency, expecting a sudden collapse of the buildings. Schools lacking sufficient equipment total 12,000. The new 9 year grades compulsory schooling system is confronted with problems needing quick solutions.

You have to be an expert in swift transformation to play a Kabuki drama. In a play-which is full of magic transformations- Tokizo Nakamura, a Kabuki male actress,sometimes plays the part of a wife sometimes that of a young princess. To complicate matters, the wife is really a magic fox disguised as the princess. How foxy can you be? said audience at the Mejiza Theatre, Tokyo.

October 8, 1952

Heroines in Japan's recent adolescence Story pictures. Left to right: Misses Kyoko Kami, Sachiko Hidari, Yoko Katsuragi. (Below) Mariko Okada, Reiko Uozumi, Haruka Namiji and yoshiko Kuga.

December 24, 1952

In an overview of the events of 1952, the top left picture has the caption “Japan recovered sovereignty (Apr).

Again, the upper left picture: Crown Prince proclaimed Heir Apparent to the Throne (Nov.)

Dandehon Chushingura is a historical 'warrior's revenge drama the Kabuki School performers present in December. Since G.H.Q. Banned the presentation of a revenge drama of this kind, the Kabuki performers used a substitute for the “December performance for the past seven years.

January 28, 1953

Another scene of a Kabuki performance.

April 1, 1953

Television Hits Japan. Television made its debut in February, 28 years since Japan started a radio broadcasting system. At present Nippon Hoso Kyoka, Japan Broadcasting Corporatin, is broadcasting video for four hours every day. But a set costing more than 150,000 Yen ($416) is out of average wage earners' reach. Restaurants, cabarets, tea-rooms and some public bath houses are using TV to attract people. Commercials are not included in programs.

July 22, 1953

The artist who worked on this exquisite lacquered cosmetic case was presumably having images of flying-fish when drawing these hares with gold dust. He must have considered that hares having very long ears could also jump high on the sea. Interestingly enough, this unnatural design does not spoil the artistic effect of the case at all. Instead, evidence of the artist's originality enlivens the whole picture. The work as produced in the late 16th century.

A primary school in a village opens after the destructive floods receded in Kyushu.

July 29, 1953

A couple of what I thought were interesting ads in an issue devoted almost entirely to the Korean War.

September 16, 1953

Mysterious caves. People were breathless with suspense when mysterious caves were dug in the backyard of Akira Koshimuzu residing at Takahayacho, Tokyo. Instead of gold coins, however, they found broken pieces of vases, candle-holders, and of unidentified items. Deep under the ground, appeared rooms with arched ceilings and altar-like nooks that look like a part of an underground prison. Historical Taro Wakamori presumes that Christians lived here, taking shelter from public eyes, in the 19th century, when Christians were persecuted in Japan.

September 23, 1953

Reminding of the past. Wielding their wooden swords, local leaders of the Patriot Youth Troop, a recently founded rightist organization, go through a physical training program at their temporary dormitory in Tokyo. They are from 16 different local branches of the organization, receiving special indoctrination at the troop's headquarters in Tamuracho, Minato Ward, tokyo. The regular members of the troop total 6,000. the members are mostly youths in farming and fishing villages, miners and students with ages ranging from 17 to 25.

I found this particularly interesting, noting that Japan had a rightist movement as far back as 1952. The rightists are still in the news today, and are involved with the attempt to rewrite history, such as claiming there was no Rape of Nanking.

October 7, 1953

Minature Sumo Champs. Led by a Sumo wrestling fan in Tokyo, 60 grade school boys have formed a Sumo wrestling group. They observe the rules and manners practiced by regular professional Sumo tams. The boys, for instance, are classified in various Sumo ranks, wear colorful costumes when going through ceremonial details of formal Sumo matches. They know all of the 48 Sumo tricks. Only differences are the sizes of bodies and that the boys aren't paid for their wrestling expeditions. These are scenes of their 55th Sumo held in September.

November 11, 1953

High School holds traditional hike race. Wet with rain and sweat, a total of 1,160 boys and girls of the First Mito High School, Ibaragi Pref. Went through a 45-mile hike race. They hiked the first 25 miles, then started a marathon race for the next 15 miles.

Flying Squirrels in a Temple. These male and female flying squirrels have been living here for more than 40 years. Probably they are under the influence of Buddha's great power; they have never given any harm to human beings,says the priest of Daigakuji Temple in Kisakata Village, Ehime Pref. The animals lie idle in their nest in an attic during the daytime, and hunt food in the neighb oring woods during the night.

November 25, 1953

The national rally calling for the complete repatriation of the Japanese held in China and Russia as well as the release of the war criminals in Sugamo Prison, was held at the Memorial Hall, Ryogoku, Tokyo, November 11.Thirteen thousand family members of the detained persons and the criminals participated in the rally.

The Imperial Garden Party, first of its kind since 1937, was held on November 5 at the Omiya Detached Palace. Their Majesties the Emperor and the Empress and H.I.H. TheCrown Prince were the hosts to 1,500 Japanese and foreign notables.

December 2, 1953

On November 15, the Children's Festival for three, five and seven years old. Kiyoko, 7, and Reiko, 5, visited the Meji Shrine accompanied by their mother. They walked along modestly but happy in their heart amid a crowd of children in gorgeous formals. The mother, a widow working in a primary school in charge of pupils' meals supplied by the school, stays with their daughters in Toyama Boshiryo, one of Mothers' and Children's Homes in Tokyo.

December 9, 1953

Robin Hood practiced Communism. Stories concerning him should be expurgated from text bokos in America,so claimed Mrs. Thomas J. White, a republican member of Indiana State board of Text Books. Her statement recently caused a sensation in the U.S. While Rumania, Hungary and Czeckoslovakia have decided to ban capitalist literature,Grimm brothers' children's and Domestic Tales was among the books to be prohibited.

December 23, 1953

Tohyo Demonstration: More than 25,000 members of Sohyo-affiliated unions staged a demonstration through downtown Tokyo, demanding higher wages and the year's end allowances. Majority of the participants were members of genkoro National Council of Government and Public Workers Unions.

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