Making the Japanese Constitution: Teaching About a Cultural Encounter in World History

How was the post-war Japanese Constitution created? Was it "imposed" on a defeated Japan by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP), the American Occupation under Douglas MacArthur? Drawing on current scholarship and resources, we will reexamine these questions by framing this event as an American-Japanese encounter-an encounter simultaneously constitutional, legal, political, linguistic, and cultural. Presenters will engage participants in an interactive session in which they will examine key primary sources, such as the Potsdam Declaration, the MacArthur Note ("Three Basic Points"), and Japanese illustrations related to the promulgation of the final constitution.

Presentation Materials:

Set of primary source documents
"Making the Japanese Constitution" presentation

Additional Resources:

National Diet Library archive
Timeline of events
Glossary of important terms
Historical figures
Potsdam Declaration
Japanese Constitution