Fraternization Policy vs Cultural Exchange

The photograph on the right shows some members of The Kure Christian Friends’ Home enjoying a Japanese tea ceremony. The Home was established in 1952 and operated until   1956 under Japan’s National Christian Council. Located at a dentist’s residence on Hondori.  It was open to the public every day except Sunday and was run with the help of several Kure church members. Among them was Sadako Kaneko (金子貞子), who worked there as a facilitator. 



The Home served as a refuge to those seeking shelter from all the many temptations. It gave opportunities to western servicemen to meet wholesome Japanese on the basis of mutual interests such as: photography, culture, religion, and language. Jack McCormack, now living in Keighley, England, standing on the far right next to Sadako in the old photo recalls, “The photograph was taken in 1953 just after l arrived in Kure. I was not aware that a photograph had been taken of the tea making ceremony. The photo reminded me of all the happy times l had while l was in Japan.  l had the good fortune to go to Miyajima and Iwakuni on many occasions and have fond memories of the people and places”.


There were quite a few unfavorable relationships going on between men and women at that time in spite of the so called Fraternization Policy. The Policy was issued in 1946 to restrict the BCOF men from mingling in a friendly or intimate way with people of the conquered country. However, gradually, it began to reveal itself impossible to get the jobs   done without 40,000 Japanese workers, some of whom were working closely with BCOF men.


Gradually, the Policy appeared to be of no effect. By the time it was relaxed, prostitution and sexual diseases had already become rampant.  It could even be said that the Policy itself had caused their acceleration. “It was a time when everyone was struggling to survive. We cannot blame them. War brought insanity,” laments Sadako. “However, there did exist quite a few appropriate relationships that eventually led to marriages,” says Sadako.


Sadako also served as an interpreter and supervisor at the churches on the military bases in Kure and Etajima in 1949-1956. During the Taisho era (1912 1926) there were quarters 

for Christian missionaries in her neighborhood. As a child of 2 or 3, Sadako was often taken there and was able to pick up some English language. “We owe what we are today to those people’s experiences. It ls due to the sweat and tears that were accumulated in their fight against the Policy. Without any fraternization there would never be a world realized in which we are blessed with many benefits of cultural exchange,” says Sadako, who is said to have interpreted church services of nearly 100 wedding ceremonies for international couples. 



#93 Parkway Vol.14 No.2 April-June 2000

フラタニゼーション政策 対 文化交流




ホームは、混乱する社会のシェルターとしての役を果たした。写真、文化、宗教、言語といった共通の関心を通した、日本人と欧米軍人の健全な交流の場だった。イギリスのケイトリーに住むジャック・マコーマック(Jack McCormack)さんは、この古い写真の、右奥、貞子さんの横に立つ。「写真は呉に到着した直後1953年に撮影されたもの。 お茶席の時写真が撮られていたとは知りませんでした。写真から、日本にいた時の幸せな時を思い出します。宮島や岩国に行く機会もあり、土地や人々の懐かしい思い出が沢山あります。」




次第に、この政策の効果は失われ、政策緩和が行われたときには既に売春や性病が蔓延していた。政策そのものが加速させたとさえ言える。 「誰もが必死で生きようとしている時でした。そういう人たちを非難することはできません。戦争が狂気をもたらしたのです」と貞子さんは語る。 「けれど、結婚に結びついた適切な関係もたくさんあったのは確かです」



貞子さんは1949-1956年に呉と江田島の軍基地の教会で通訳と管理も担っていた。大正時代(1912年ー1926年)近所にクリスチャン宣教師のための住居区があったことから、 2・3歳の頃、貞子さんはよくそこに連れられ、英語を学んだのだ。 "今日の私たちは、その人達との関わりがあったお陰です。政策と戦った人たちの汗と涙の結晶です。フラタナイゼーション政策がなければ、文化交流という恩恵を受けられる世界は実現しなかったでしょう」と,貞子さんは話す。教会で結婚式を挙げる国際カップルの為に礼拝の通訳をした貞子さん、その数は100件に及ぶという。