The Censor's Archives and Beyond

Jonathan E. Abel

in Redacted

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780520273344
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780520953406 | DOI:
The Censor's Archives and Beyond

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The first chapter focuses on the history of two major extant archives of censorship in modern Japan: the examination copies of books submitted to the Japanese Home Ministry's office of censorship (1923–1945) and the collection of publications submitted for censorship to the occupation forces (1945–1952). Though they are very much in the realm of public information now, these archives historically held material in secret. As such, the censors’ private shelves would seem to present us finally with what was lost to wartime and postwar discourse. Yet the history of the archives spanning two empires points to the problem of what lies outside the collections, the censored literature not contained in the archives, and what was never banned but nevertheless was part of the damage of censorship, the nonexistent but imaginable great body of work that went unwritten due to the presence of censorship.

Keywords: Washington Document Center; Book Sorting Project; Ozaki Shiro

Chapter.  8460 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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