Resource: Digital Image Collections on Japan’s Constitution

The University of Michigan Digital Library Production Service (DLPS) has two interesting digital image resources from their Alfred Hussey Collection that are open to the public for education and research.

The first is the Alfred Hussey Collection: Japan’s Constitution Slides:

As the site states:

hussey1ic_Brower2_018_487_361_full_0This set of slides commemorates the enactment of Japan’s constitution. The slides are in Japanese and include drawings, colored cartoons, and images of the scales of justice with citizens. They were part of the effort to popularize the constitution. The slides show the educational purpose of the Committee for the Popularization of the Constitution (Kenpō Fukyū Kai) and explained what the new constitution accomplished as it was an entirely new concept to Japanese citizens accustomed to the absolute authority of an emperor.

The second is the Alfred Hussey Collection: Japan’s Constitution Photo Album:


hussey2ic_Brower3_010_612_511_full_0This album commemorates the enactment of Japan’s constitution and is in English rather than Japanese. It was produced by The Society for the Popularization for the Constitution. The Kenpō Fukyū Kai was founded on December 1, 1946, as a result of pressure from occupation officials to “thoroughly popularize the spirit of the new Constitution through activities to raise awareness of it so as to touch every aspect of the lives of the citizens.” The society continued to carry out its tasks for a year or so after the 1947 promulgation of the constitution.

Both the slides and album were a gift from Alfred Hussey, an attorney and an American officer during World War II who assisted with writing a draft for the new Japanese constitution. If you’re interested in Japan’s modern history, politics, society, art, or are just curious, be sure to check these out! The images are considered public domain and can be used freely.

About Paula

Paula lives in the vortex of academic life. She studies medieval Japanese history.
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