U.S. Cultural Propaganda in Cold War Japan: Promoting Democracy (1948-1960)

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This study examines the efforts of United States government and affiliated non-governmental organizations to build pro-American sentiment in Japan in a critical decade in Japanese-American relations. The author challenges the portrayal of the American occupation of Japan as the success story that established Asia’s first liberal democracy.


“This is a significant period in the relationship between the two nations, and, as Dr. Saeki points out, one that has not received much scholarly attention compared to the SCAP-directed occupation between 1945 and 1952.” - Dr. Matthew Young, McCoy Professor of History, Marietta College

“This work is a significant contribution not only to the existing literature on US occupation policy, but also of early Cold War US foreign policy, as Saeki’s work provides new insight on US cultural policy during this period, and complements previous works which examine Japan’s political, economic, and social transformation during the occupation.” - Dr. Todd A. Good, Lecturer in College of Letters and Science, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point

“Chizuru Saeki’s important and timely study highly enriches our historical understanding of U.S. Japanese political and cultural relations during the 1950s and 1960s. ... A brilliant blend of cultural and policy history.” - Dr. Zachery Williams, Assistant Professor of History, The University of Akron

Table of Contents

1 Historiography of U.S.-Japan Relations
2 U.S. Objectives and Its Plan of Selling Democracy toward Japanese
3 Indoctrinating Japanese about U.S. Democracy in Practice
4 Planning the Perry Centennial of 1953: Commemoration of America’s Opening Japan
5 Non-Governmental Organization’s Cooperation: Cultural Exchange Program as “Human Weapon”
6 Teaching Democracy in Okinawa: The Role of Cultural Centers in a Countryless Land
7 The Cancellation of Eisenhower’s Visit to Japan and the U.S.-Japan Centennial Festival of 1960
Appendix A - American Embassy in Tokyo, 1953
Appendix B - United States Information Service Japan, 1953
Appendix C - American Positions in USIS Japan, 1953

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