Pocket Guide to Japan, with Special Reference to Japanese Customs, History, Industry, Education, Art, Accomplishments, Amusements, etc., etc.,” 1935 & 1946 editions.
Originally compiled by the Ministry of Railways in 1925, this guidebook to the entire country was reissued numerous times, with postwar editions published by JTB.
The 1946 edition, printed in black and white on thin paper just 12 months after the surrender, was cut and hastily rewritten in numerous places to reflect “the rapidly changing conditions of the country.” The frequent reference to imperial mythology and the empire’s colonies found in the 1935 edition have been carefully deleted from sections on history, geography, and culture, giving the postwar version an awkward flow in places.
Tokyo occupies around six pages of both guides. A picture of Yasukuni Shrine is absent from the postwar version, which instead features pictures of the Teikoku Hotel, favored by American VIPs, and the GHQ building, complete with a rooftop Christmas tree and “Merry Xmas” banner. Although no direct mention is made of the bombing, in some places the editors have removed reference to destroyed landmarks, such as the Koyo-kan restaurant in Shiba, a prewar geisha house popular with foreign visitors (later the site of Tokyo Tower). Elsewhere, however, the prewar descriptions remain strangely unchanged. Asakusa, completed destroyed in the air raid of March 10, is still described as “the Coney Island of Tokyo…where cinemas and other shows attract daily a large number of pleasure-seekers.”
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