Military Occupation?

Military occupations throughout history have often been violent but this was not the case in Japan. The occupation was overseen by the Allied soldiers, but it was carried out in cooperation with the Japanese authorities and to a lesser extent the Japanese people.

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The mystical orient?

Most of the soldiers of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) did not know what to expect when they arrived in Japan. Many thought they were travelling to a strange and mystical land in the orient. While Japan was certainly very different to Australia, there were also signs of the Western influence that had been in Japan for almost 100 years.


This is a Japanese street in Miyajima, a small island in Hiroshima bay. The photograph was taken by an Australian BCOF soldier at some point between 1947 and 1952. What do you notice about how the Japanese people are dressed and the buildings that line the street?



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