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One of those changes included mandatory education. During the 1950's children were legally bound to attend school between the ages of six and 15 years old. By the time the 1950's came to an end not only were families complying with that law but were also voluntarily sending most of their children on to college.
It was an era that valued education and realized the way to become a power hitter in the world global business markets.
A typical day in the life of a man or woman in Japan during the 1950's would include getting up each morning and eating breakfast, while preparing to go to work. The children would get ready to go to school and everyone would leave the house. Women at that time, just like in other parts of the world were not treated with the same respect and honor that men were treated so they were often relegated to factor positions or other menial jobs (American Occupation and the Military Bases (http://www.uchinanchu.org/uchinanchu/history_american.htm).
There was freedom of speech, however, anti-American words could get one arrested or at least detained for questioning.
The military for Japan was a thing of the past and the new constitution prevented the nation from ever having another paid military force, therefore during the 1950's attention turned to other ways to become important in the world.
Men and women during that time became tuned into the importance of technology, in particular the automobile market.
Part of the occupation ruling was that Japan could no longer develop aircraft or an airline industry, as punishment for its attack on Pearl Harbor, therefore its society turned to the automobile industry to compete in the world market of technology (American Occupation and the Military Bases (http://www.uchinanchu.org/uchinanchu/history_american.htm).
The family would all gather again by evening and share a meal before perhaps heading out to see a jazz festival performance. Japanese music has long been known for it flute and harp sounds but during the 1950's the nation enjoyed a jazz trend as well ("Ten Thousand Things" (http://www.kyotojournal.org/10,000things/056.html).
This may have been because of the military presence and the American love of jazz at the time, but whatever the reason it was not uncommon for jazz to be the music of choice in Japanese society during the 1950's ("Ten Thousand Things" (http://www.kyotojournal.org/10,000things/056.html).
Post Occupation Changes
The 1950's is an interesting decade for Japan as it was cut in half by the occupation following WWII. The occupation which began in 1945 ended in 1952. During the first two years of the decade the changes that the occupation had installed were legally biding and abided by. In 1952, however, the occupation came to an end and the nation had to step up and decide which occupation changes were to be kept and which were to be tossed aside (Japan (http://members.tripod.com/h_javora/jed1.htm).
The 1950's for Japan was like having a clean slate to begin with and be able to paint any picture desired, however, the people were ever mindful of the force and destruction America was capable of if it decided to come back and take over again (Japan (http://members.tripod.com/h_javora/jed1.htm).
After the restoration of full national sovereignty in 1952, Japan immediately began to modify some of the education changes introduced during the Occupation period. These modifications more clearly reflected Japanese ideas about education and educational structure. The Ministry of Education regained a great deal of power. School boards reverted to being appointed, rather than elected. A moral education course was reinstituted in modified form, despite substantial initial concern that it would lead to a reintroduction of prewar nationalism into the schools (Japan (http://members.tripod.com/h_javora/jed1.htm)."
It was during the 1950's that society in Japan brought increased demands on the education field as well as the field of technology.
Shortly after the war the nation saw a decrease in the birth rate however, but the mid-1950's that trend had reversed and there were many babies being born which meant a need for more education facilities (Japan (http://members.tripod.com/h_javora/jed1.htm).
One of the most controversial issues in the post occupation 1950s in Japan was the constitutional mandate that the nation not arm itself ever again. It was in the middle 1950s that the debate raged and was actually supported by the U.S. To amend the constitution to allow a military ability (Post-World War II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Japan).
The Allied occupation ended on April 28, 1952, when the terms of the Treaty of San Francisco went into effect. By the terms of the treaty, Japan regained its sovereignty, but lost many of its possessions from before World War II, including Korea, Taiwan, and Sakhalin (Post-World War II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Japan).It also lost control over a number of small islands in the Pacific which it administered as League of Nations Mandates, such as the Marianas and the Marshals (Post-World War II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Japan).The new treaty also gave Japan the freedom to engage in international defense blocs. Japan did this on the same day it signed the San Francisco Treaty: Shigeru Yoshida and Harry Truman penned a document that allowed the United States Armed Forces to continue their use of bases in Japan (Post-World War II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Japan).
Even before Japan regained full sovereignty, the government had rehabilitated nearly 80,000 people who had been purged, many of whom returned to their former political and government positions (Post-World War II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Japan).A debate over limitations on military spending and the sovereignty of the emperor ensued, contributing to the great reduction in the Liberal Party's majority in the first post-occupation elections (October 1952) (Post-World War II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Japan).After several reorganizations of the armed forces, in 1954 the Self-Defense Forces were established under a civilian director (Post-World War II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Japan).Cold War realities and the hot war in nearby Korea also contributed significantly to the United States-influenced economic redevelopment, the suppression of communism, and the discouragement of organized labor in Japan during this period (Post-World War II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Japan)."
Relations with the U.S.
During the 1950's the nation of Japan had, in general a decent relationship with the United States. During the first two years of the decade, Japan had already been occupied for five years and the residents had begun to accept it and embrace some of the changes it brought about. Those who were against America generally kept their feelings to themselves and the nation moved in a quiet harmony (Post-World War II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Japan).
However, near the end of the decade trouble again reared its head over the proposed revision of the Japan-United States Mutual Security Assistance Pact.
As the new Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security was concluded, which renewed the United States role as military protector of Japan, massive street protests and political upheaval occurred, and the cabinet resigned a month after the Diet's ratification of the treaty. Thereafter, political turmoil subsided (Post-World War II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Japan)."
There were several issues that arose in the 1950's with regard to the Japan-United States relationship however.
One of those issues had to do with the relationship Japan had been building with China since the 1940's. By 1949 Japan and China had developed what could be called a strong and positive tie with each other. The United States however, chose to denounce Beijing during the 1950's which created tension for Japan on two fronts.
On the first front it created problems with Japan and China as China was aware of the relationship between the U.S. And Japan (Post-World War II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Japan).In addition it created tension between the United States and Japan as Japan could not understand why the U.S. was willing to poke at China knowing that Japan wanted China as a friend and an ally.
Throughout the 1950's it did not take much for the United States to rile the Japanese and bring pre-occupation feelings to the surface very quickly.
Another issue in Japanese-American relations was Japan's growing trade surplus, which reached record heights during Nakasone's first term. The United States pressured Japan to remedy the imbalance, demanding that Tokyo raise the value of the yen and open its markets further to facilitate more imports from the United States. Because the Japanese government aids and protects its key industries, it was accused of creating an unfair competitive advantage. Tokyo agreed to try to resolve these problems but generally defended its industrial policies and made concessions on its trade restrictions very reluctantly (Post-World War II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Japan)."
The Japanese culture was also heavily influenced by America during the 1950's. Music, food, dress and attitudes from the United States had pervaded Japan because of the military families that had joined their military loved ones in Japan (Post-World War II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Japan).The children played with Japanese children, the teenagers hung out with Japanese teenagers and American women modeled a completely different lifestyle than Japanese women had been raised to accept as their…[continue]
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