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An Exchange Program Between Japan and Michigan

Following the Allied victory in World War II and a period of U.S. occupation, the United States and Japan put relations on equal footing starting in 1952. Armed with fluent Japanese skills and in-depth knowledge in industrial relations, Professor Solomon B. Levine travelled back and forth from the United States and Japan and became a […]

A Diplomat’s Wife in Showa Japan

1930s Japan—a time of emperors, tension in the Pacific, and mysterious unspoken social rules of the Showa Era. When Dorothy Emmerson moved to Japan, she was the young, practical wife of Ambassador John Emmerson, whom she accompanied to Tokyo where he served his first tour in the Foreign Service. Dorthy soon found herself immersed in […]

Sound, Fury, Brilliance & Booze: Faulkner in Post-War Japan

William Faulkner, among the most decorated writers in American literature with the 1949 Nobel Prize for Literature, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award among his honors, was invited to Japan in 1955 under the auspices of the Exchange of Persons Branch of the United States Information Service (now consolidated into the […]

Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship: The 1951 Treaty of Peace with Japan

The San Francisco Peace Treaty, signed by 48 nations on September 8, 1951, officially ended Japan’s position as an imperial power, provided compensation to those who had suffered in Japan during the Second World War, and terminated the Allied post-war occupation of Japan. The treaty’s seven chapters and preamble marked the end of hostilities between the signatories […]

Observing the Fiftieth Anniversary of VJ-Day in Japan

How to commemorate an important anniversary of the country in which you’re posted when it marks a low point in the bilateral relationship? World War II came to an end when Imperial Japan announced its surrender on August 15, 1945; officials from its government signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender on September 2 aboard the […]

Douglas MacArthur, America’s Emperor of Japan

He was a general’s general, tough, unrelenting, a man who embraced the role history thrust on him. He was also haughty and controversial, traits that would lead to his eventual downfall. General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers (SCAP), arrived in Japan on August 30, 1945 to oversee  the ceremony formally marking its […]