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Western Propaganda about Japan's War Comparing With Japan's Perspective (Essay Sample)


We’ve learned that from 1920s to 1930s, Japan became a militaristic society engaged in an imperialistic, racially charged “holy war” on conquest across Asia and the Pacific. However, what was the United States perception of Japan during the Pacific Campaign of World War 2 from 1941-1945? There are several potential assignments you can do for this Extra Credit Project: 1) Compare the US and British propaganda art about the Japanese with examples by the Japanese about them. From John Dower, War Without Mercy (1986), pp. 194-203 (Allied propaganda art), pp. 204-213 (Japanese propaganda art.) Please feel free to utilize Dower’s book in your argument. 2) Take the historical information from the documentary “Japan’s War in Color” (link up on Moodle, WARNING: graphic content) using Japanese leaders, soldiers, and civilians letters about what they thought about the war from its beginning to end, and compare it with an American made Pacific War documentary (NOT FILM or historic drama.) There are many out there, and I want you to choose! If you aren’t sure if it is good, send me the link or name! What are the different perspectives between the two nations?


Western Propaganda about Japan's War Comparing With Japan's Perspective

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Western Propaganda about Japan's War Comparing With Japan's Perspective

Before the start of the 20th Century, Japan was secluded from the rest of the world and was in a turmoil. The beginning of the twentieth century gave way to Japan’s rapid change and modernization. The country began to catch up with other superpowers during that time. However, despite their need for modernization, the effects of the great depression also affected the nation, which had a weak democracy. Consequently, Japan’s military gained power and became uncontrollable. Driven by past beliefs of spiritual and racial purity, the military turned to the politics of assassination. War was considered to be an act of purifying the nation, individuals and eventually the whole world. The nation’s acceptance to be ruled by nationalists and militarists can be associated with the effects of worldwide depression and several scandals in the country’s government. Flaws in the Meiji constitution also contributed to militarists rise to power. The Japanese militarists looked to the past for guidance from the Sun Goddess, whom the Emperor had descended from. The aim of the militarists was to restore a Japan, which they believed had lost its purity. The military attempts by Japan to purify the world led to their attack on Thailand, which was under British rule and U.S army bases in Guam and Hawaii. This attack led to the two nations joining forces and attacking Japan during the Pacific War. However, during World War 2, Japan had a different perception of itself and other nations, and so did U.S.A and Britain. This essay seeks to discuss the different perceptions of these three countries during the war.

During the period of 1941-1945, various forms of propaganda emerged regarding the perception of Japanese in America. After Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, several bias messages emerged which dehumanized the Japanese. Such biased messages brought fear among the Americans and in turn, they led to racism and cultural hatred. The Americans believed that the only way the Japanese could stop being a threat is if they were defeated in war. The propaganda greatly affected Japan. According to the American propaganda, the Japanese held their race to be more superior compared to other races, including other Asians. The Japanese treated other Asians as minorities by constantly slapping them and forcing them to bow to the East, where their emperor resided. The attitude and perception that Americans had towards the Japanese were that they were repulsive and subhuman. Several propaganda arts emerged during the years before 1945 that portrayed Japanese as inhuman and ruthless. The ‘Tokio Kid,’ a Japanese character that was famous in several World War 2 posters depicted the Japanese as dangerous killers (Miles, 2012). The poster showed a Japanese character with pointed ears, fangs and enlarged buckteeth, representing the physical characteristics of the Japanese people. Aside from that, the caption written in broken English showed how unintelligent the Japanese were. The ‘Tokio Kid’ was one of the many posters that portrayed the

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