Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Navy Photos From the Initial Occupation of Japan

Navy photos from the initial occupation of Japan – https://web.archive.org/web/20130703130844/http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/events/wwii-pac/japansur/js-6.htm

UPDATE 1/19/2015 – The Naval History and Heritage Command recently reorganized their website and I could not find the Japan surrender photos there. So I’m linking to the Internet Archive version. I used the methods described in Appendix D, What to Do When URLs/Websites Break to recover this resource. If you do find a live link to these pictures, please let me know.

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What do scenes of surrender look like?
  • How do liberated prisoners look?


This page from the Naval Historical Center provides access to a few dozen photographs taken by Navy personnel during the first month of the occupation of Japan. They include photos of the surrender of Japan, the takeover of various Japanese bases by American forces and a number of pictures of liberated Allied prisoners. Each photograph is captioned and each page of this site has additional commentary. The photographs on this site are divided into the following areas:

  • Amphibious Landings around Tokyo Bay, 28 August – 2 September 1945;
  • Liberation of Allied Prisoners of War in the Tokyo Bay Area, Part I;
  • Liberation of Allied Prisoners of War in the Tokyo Bay Area, Part II;
  • General MacArthur Arrives at Atsugi, 30 August 1945;
  • Takeover of Yokosuka Naval Base, 30 August 1945;
  • Miscellaneous Occupation Activities in the Tokyo Bay Area, 28 August – 2 September 1945.

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