This paper reveals the great controversy surrounding the process of determining Prewar Japan’s national flag regulations through an analysis of government approved textbook descriptions. National flag regulation long remained unsettled, with an intense debate raging through the 1920’s and 1930’s.During the 1920’s the Japanese government failed to model to the public consistent, official national flag customs which contributed to the persistent controversy, in that the government did not recommended the rising of the national flag in public space on holidays, etc.
Emphasis on national flags customs varied. As a result, diverse views continued to be disseminated even government approved Textbooks. In December, 1930, the government issued an official notice determining national flag customs. However, there was a great deal of public opinion opposed to the new regulation. Flag customs promulgated in textbooks published by the Ministry of Education even differed from one another. Even though the issue was discussed by the House of Representatives, the controversy remained unresolved. The prewar Japanese government was unable to standardize flag custom. In 1940, the issue was finally resolved; the Ministry of Education produced a textbook that finally adopted the December, 1930 official notice on flag customs.
Public records government approved textbooks, and Diet records were utilizes in the research for this paper.
More than 100 new “overnight pickle” (ichiyazuke) war plays were staged on kabuki programs between 1931 and 1945. The themes of these plays invariably supported government war aims and policies. Further, the plays refute the usual description of the kabuki repertory as wholly classical: contemporary events were regularly dramatized on kabuki stages down until 1944-1945. In support of the war, kabuki producers entertained elite government guests, raised war funds to purchase armaments, purged “immoral” plays, gave “morale” (ian or imon) performances to military and industrial audiences. And, most important, they staged newly composed war plays (sensôgeki). Three plays written late in the war are examined here. In Gôda Toku's Honolulu City (Honoruru-shi, 1942), issei and nisei living in Hawaii demonstrate their loyalty to the Japanese Empire by wildly cheering as Pearl Harbor is bombed. A mother in If to the Sea (Umi yukaba, 1943), by Kikuchi Kan, stoically accepts news that her eldest son has died in a naval battle in the Pacific. Ten Thousand Cheers for the South Seas (Nanyô banzai, 1944), a dance play, was written by Kimura Tomiko to propagandize for the government's Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere (Daitoa Kyoei Ken) policy.