After Japan’s surrender in World War II, the country rapidly changed from an imperial nation under an emperor, to a democratic and demilitarized state.
Much of Japan lay in ruins after the war, devastated by air raids and the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yet the country’s economy grew so fast that by 1964, Tokyo hosted the Olympic Games. Japan adopted a new, progressive constitution, allied with the United States and enshrined limits on the use of military force.
These amazing photographs were taken by an American lieutenant colonel in Counter Intelligence operations stationed in Kumamoto during the American occupation of Japan after World War II.