TOYS WILL BE TOYS
by Charlie Finch
In 1945, Matsuzo Kosuge, a Japanese toy designer, picked a tin can of the streets of Kyoto, which had been spared the devastation of U.S. bombing because of its religious significance, and fashioned it into a model of a U.S. army jeep, with a rubber band for a motor. Soon, Mr. Kosuge received permission from U.S. authorities to manufacture toy cars for the U.S. market, as a means of converting Japanese wartime factories to civilian use. Until 1947, these cars were required to be stamped "Made in Occupied Japan."