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The Archives Bulletin Board
Every month, this Bulletin Board will highlight a new document or set of documents that are available in the Archives. These are intended solely for the edification of our viewers and cannot be copied or otherwise reused without permission. Come on over and have a look!
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2014: Home Movies from the 1940s:
Japan and Wheaton
American MP and Japanese policeman directing
traffic in downtown
Click on image to see entire film. (13 1/4 minutes)
Wheaton College's Blanchard Hall in 1947.
Click on image to see entire film. (1 1/4 minutes)
F26, ca. 1946
F27, ca. 1947
Rudolph Engholm was drafted into the United States Army in 1945 and
sent to the Philippines just after V-J day, when all Imperial Japanese
forces had surrendered. After some months in Manila he was sent on to
Tokyo, beginning a lifelong involvement with Japanese culture. The native
of Ashland, Wisconsin served as a chaplain's assistant. Engholm's duties
in that post included a brief meeting with former prime minister Hideki
Tojo, who was recuperating in the hospital from his suicide attempt
before the war crimes trial that would result in his death sentence.
Engholm became one of the servicemen who founded the G. I. Gospel Hour,
first to evangelize among American military and then to work among the
Japanese and Filipino populations. The Far Eastern Gospel Crusade (later
SEND International) was formally organized out of the GIGH in 1947.
About the same time, Engholm came back to Wheaton College to complete
the formal education interrupted by the war. After graduating in 1951,
he spent ten years in Japan as a FEGC missionary. He went back to the
United States in the mid 1960s but returned to Japan in 1979 as a college
professor to teach English, which he did until retirement. In his later
years he was one of the most active organizers of GI Gospel Hour reunions.
He died in 2001 in San Diego, California.
Bulletin Board this month features excerpts two of his home movies from
the period of his first experience of Japan and includes a glimpse of
Wheaton College in 1947.
film F26, which was taken while Engholm was in Japan and shows a variety
of scenes from daily life: transportation by cow, bike and man, train
travel, an American MP and a Japanese policeman directing traffic in
downtown Tokyo, souvenir stands, collecting seaweed and algae at the
shore, processing the catch of the fishing fleet, Japanese kids playing
baseball, scenes at various recreational camps where men from the GIGH
cooperated with Japanese Christians. The last scenes are of American
servicemen digging the foundations for what would be the FEGC headquarters
in Japan. (Excerpts are 13 1/4 minutes long.)
from film F27 shows scenes around Wheaton College campus, including
Blanchard Hall, Pierce chapel, the student body (and Professor Mortimer
Lane) going to class. (Excerpts are 1 1/4 minutes long.)
These two films are part of
Collection 406, the Records of SEND International. The collection
contains many similar GI home movies taken in Japan and the Philippines
in the late 1940s and early 1950s, often documenting the early work
of the FEGC.
Thanks to Bruce Knowlton of Academic and Media Technology
for his help in setting up this page.
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Last Revised: 5/01/14