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U.S.-Japan Women's Journal


Ethel Weed (1906-1975) was one of the few American women who devised and implemented U.S. foreign policy during the U.S. occupation of Japan from 1945-1952. As Chief Women's Information Officer she was in charge of all initiatives aimed at the "democratization" Japanese women. While previous works on Ethel Weed have examined her public persona, this article turns to her private thoughts by examining letters that Weed wrote home during her time in Japan. These letters show that Weed drew great inspiration from the Japanese women with whom she worked during the occupation. As this article contends that Weed was awed and inspired by the struggles of the women, both prominent and ordinary, whom she came to know. Moreover, through her work in Japan, she came to believe that the people of the world, including those in once warring nations, must begin to learn from one another.