Special Collections & University Archives University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Passin, Herbert

Herbert Passin Collection, 1944-1955.
1 box (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 565

A distinguished scholar of contemporary Japan, Herbert Passin was born in Chicago on Dec. 16, 1916. After completing a doctorate in anthropology in 1941, Passin was inducted into the Army and sent to the Army’s Japanese language school in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for training. Assigned to duty in Tokyo in December 1945, he became chief of the Public Opinion and Sociological Research Division under Gen. Douglas MacArthur. During his tour of duty, Passin coordinated a series of sociological studies of Japanese village life to help guide U.S. Occupation policy, particularly as it dealt with land and labor reform.

The Passin Collection contains reports and notes of sociological surveys of two Japanese villages, Yuzurihara and Yawatano, conducted by U.S. Occupation authorities in 1946 and 1947, along with a wartime report by Arthur Meadow of “Japanese character structure based on Japanese film plots and thematic apperception tests on Japanese Americans,” and a post-war letter from the novelist Takami Jun.

Historical Note

A distinguished scholar of contemporary Japan, Herbert Passin was born in Chicago on Dec. 16, 1916. Following undergraduate study at the University of Illinois, Passin entered graduate school at Northwestern, earning a doctorate in anthropology in 1941 for his work on the Tarahumara Indians. With the war, however, his academic career took a dramatic turn, crossing the Pacific in the process. Inducted into the Army, he was sent to the Army’s Japanese language school in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for training, and from there, in December 1945, he was assigned to duty in Tokyo as chief of the Public Opinion and Sociological Research Division under Gen. Douglas MacArthur. During his tour of duty, Passin coordinated a series of sociological studies of Japanese village life to help guide U.S. Occupation policy, particularly as it dealt with land and labor reform.

Passin returned to civilian life in 1947 and to his academic pursuits. After a prolific and varied career, culminating in his appointment as chair of the Sociology Department at Columbia University and its East Asia Institute, Passin died of coronary disease on Feb. 26, 2003.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Passin Collection contains reports and notes of sociological surveys of two Japanese villages, Yuzurihara and Yawatano, conducted by U.S. Occupation authorities in 1946 and 1947, along with a wartime report by Arthur Meadow of “Japanese character structure based on Japanese film plots and thematic apperception tests on Japanese Americans,” and a post-war letter from the novelist Takami Jun.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Herbert Passin Collection (MS 565). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

History of the Collection

Gift of James and Sibylle Fraser, October 2007.

Processing Information

Processed by Dexter Haven, 2008.


Additional Information

Language
English and Japanese


Contents List
Field trip to Yuzurihara
1947 April
Kitano, Seiichi, A report on the visit to Yuzurihara village
1947 Apr. 11-14
Report
1947 Apr. 17
Jun, Takami, Letter to Herbert Passin
1955 Aug. 29

Re: women during the American occupation; literary matters. In Japanese.

Koyama, T., A brief description about the neighborhood group system of Yawatano village
1946 Sept. 18
Meadow, Arnold, An anaysis of Japanese character structure based on Japanese film plots and thematic apperception tests on Japanese Americans
1944
Passin, Herbert, Gendai Amerika no shakai jinruigaku (Tōkyō : Shōkō Shoin, 1949).
1949
Bound vol.
Shakaigaku kenkyū (Sociological Research), vol. 1, no. 3
1948 March
Bound vol.

This issue contains an article in Japanese by Passin on the social-psychological dimensions in public opinion research.

Shinbun kenkyū (Journalism Research), no. 7
1948 Feb.
Bound vol.

This issue contains an article in Japanese by Passin on problems in public polling.

Yawatano Report
1946 Sept.
The young men’s group system of Yawatano
1946 Sept. 19
The regulation of Hijogumi in Yawata, Tajima-mura, Tagata-gun, Shizuoka-ken
1946 Sept. 19
The festival of the Yawatano shrine in Izu Province
ca.[1946 Sept. 19]
Subjects
  • Japan--History--Allied occupation, 1945-1952
  • Japan--Sociology--Occupation
Contributors
  • Passin, Herbert
Types of material
  • Letters (Correspondence)
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