Wartime propaganda: enemies defined by race

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Author: Erin E. Sapre
Date: Fall 2004
Publisher: West Virginia University, Department of Foreign Languages
Document Type: Critical essay
Length: 5,804 words
Lexile Measure: 1570L

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Propaganda is an expression of a particular doctrine, whether through the use of visual image, statements and other verbal methods, or persistent policies. But more than just an expression, propaganda has a purpose: an attempt or "scheme" intended "for propagating a doctrine or practice" (Brown 10). In fact, the Latin root of the word is propagare, which describes the act of transplanting young plant shoots "in order to reproduce new plants which will later take on a life of their own" (Brown 10). In the same way, the authors of wartime propaganda plant an idea in the minds of the audience so that the idea becomes a part of the audience's own mind and ideology, thereby influencing not only their attitudes but also their actions.

Despite the abundance of World War II propaganda on television documentaries, in books, and on the Internet, the effect of propaganda is a little-explored topic. The small amount of propaganda analysis in existence leans heavily upon the work done by John Dower (War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War, 1986). The theme of his book is that war propaganda portrays the enemy as "the other" (they are not like us), inferior (incompetent: we are capable of defeating them militarily), sub-human (there is nothing morally objectionable to killing something that is not human), and evil (therefore, it is our duty to eliminate them). The sources and the effects of this propaganda effort, however, are left largely unexplored.

My interest is the realm of human persuasion: the use of wartime propaganda, intensifying and focusing the racist attitudes that already existed in pre-war American society, to influence the attitudes and actions of soldiers. I will focus on the perspective of the American soldier toward his Japanese enemy during World War II.

Dower noted that policymakers were well aware of the stakes involved in World War II: nations were waging war in the name of good versus evil, and national survival literally depended upon retention of territory and resources (3). Such high stakes may have given nations the incentive to manipulate their populations toward the will to eliminate the enemy. The case for intentional persuasion of populations was more explicitly stated by J. Glenn Gray, a U.S soldier in Germany during World War II who wrote that</p> <pre> All forward-looking governments have learned to rate psychological preparations for war as of equal importance, at least, with the physical training of citizens and soldiers. As a consequence, the image of the enemy a contemporary, soldier takes with him to the front is certain to be a synthetic product of the mass media, more or less consciously instilled in him by his government to make him a better fighter. (Gray 133) </pre> <p>In other words, soldiers often enter battle with distorted views of the enemy because of intentional propagandistic influence. This distorted view assisted the soldier as an aggressor and met his need to justify his actions against the enemy. The view of the enemy endorsed by this propaganda served to persuade soldiers-and society-that the enemy can be and must be eliminated: individual men must be convinced to kill other men on a large scale, and societies must be convinced to support this aggression.

In this type of propaganda, it is common to highlight race as a very visual and very concrete means of distinguishing friendly from enemy. In fact, using wartime propaganda to highlight racial features as a characteristic of the enemy seems to play on man's natural racist inclinations and seems to increase the already-present tendency to pair violence with racial hatred. It must be noted however, that Americans were not unique in their wartime hatred for an enemy of distinct race: the World War II commander of Britain's 14th Army, Sir William Slim, treated Japanese prisoners with contempt and aimed to destroy the Japanese army, "an evil thing" (Holmes 277). Grouping according to racial characteristics and discriminating against people with different racial characteristics from our own is a human trait, not a uniquely American trait. Seemingly "hardwired into the human psyche" (Monteith 46), xenophobia is the fear of people who are not like us and this fear is more pronounced when we are under stress. A human tends to define the "in" group, or the good group, as comprised of members who share his own characteristics, including race (Montieth 48). Therefore, the "out" group, the "other," is a group comprised of people who do not share the in-group's characteristics--and this out-group is necessarily "bad" in contrast to the definitive goodness of the in-group.

While a focus on the enemy's race is typical of wartime propaganda, this focus sometimes produces extreme and negative results. If hatred is aroused against a racial group, noncombatant members of that race may be targeted in addition to the military members. Additionally, in a situation that involves justifiable military violence, demonization of the enemy's race can magnify and distort a soldier's actions into tragic atrocities and barbaric behavior.

Two common wartime conditions make apparent the fact that propaganda is often inaccurate and misleading and that it influences soldiers' beliefs about, and actions against, the enemy. First, it is sometimes the case that soldiers nearer the front line and in more direct contact with the enemy become less barbaric toward the enemy than are soldiers in rear support positions. The officers and higher command headquarters who create this propaganda and transmit it to the troops are usually far removed from the front line, and the units that produce and distribute propaganda to the frontline troops are often rear support units comprised of soldiers who have never seen combat or been employed in combat-related jobs. In contrast, frontline troops have the rare position of personal contact with the enemy. Through first-hand experience they sometimes discover an enemy's human qualities in contrast to propaganda they have come to believe: they sometimes experience a reversal in their perception of the enemy in response to personal experience to the extent that they often treat a new prisoner to cigarettes, food, and medical care of the same quality provided to friendly troops. The rare position in personal contact with the enemy seems to give the frontline soldier the opportunity to gain experience which to some degree counter-acts the effects of propaganda. In contrast, rear echelon troops have been known to steal even the coats off the backs of prisoners. (It is interesting, however, that this phenomenon occurred more often during World War II, and occurred progressively less often from the time of World War II to the Vietnam war.)

The second condition provides testimony to the inaccuracy of propaganda: Friendly soldiers begin to commit the very acts that they have previously been highlighted to demonstrate the primitiveness or evilness of the enemy, which demonstrates the inaccuracy of propaganda because it portrays the practice of evil activities as a behavior solely characteristic of the enemy. In reality, not only is the severity of these activities often exaggerated, but the same activities are conducted by friendly forces. It may be true that soldiers might only commit these evil deeds as an intended response in kind to the deeds committed by the enemy, hut I will show that friendly soldiers nonetheless tend to commit the type of activities they attribute to the enemy. Therefore, propaganda is inaccurate if it uses barbarian behavior as a characterization of the enemy.

Incidentally, when this propaganda-influenced hatred and violence occurs, it is rarely the fault of the footsoldiers, as evidenced by the reversal of feelings in the combat troops, who change their minds about the enemy in response to experience. Rather, the responsibility lies with the managers and leaders of these men-the officers, higher command headquarters, and even political leaders. These men are in positions of respect and power and have the ability to not only to influence the opinions, but also control the actions, of their subordinates.

Using propaganda collections, personal interviews with veterans, vintage cartoons and comics, war movies, and combat testimonies, my research will utilize Dower's thesis regarding the racial nature of war propaganda as a springboard from which to explore the realm of human persuasion. I will focus on the perspective of the American soldier toward his Japanese enemy during World War II. Within this historical context, I will demonstrate that racist propaganda was a manifestation of the emotions already present in the population and that the increased racial hatred caused by this propaganda influenced soldiers to target members of racial groups rather than only official enemies. Moreover, while the footsoldier ultimately translated these attitudes into angry, violent actions, it was the political and military command who hold primary responsibility for creating and transmitting these attitudes to their subordinates.

I must emphasize that it is not my intent to criticize the United States or its military. It is my intent to use the perception of the American soldier toward his Japanese enemy to illustrate a basic human condition: that xenophobia is a natural human tendency. Whether due to fear of the unknown "other" or due to dislike of anything not similar to ourselves or due to the need to find identity in community, inaccurate and negative perceptions of racial difference are inherent in all men and all societies. Further, it is not my intent to judge the necessity or morality of war or violence in the context of the modern international system. But when war does happen, men must be convinced to right the enemy. Propaganda which demonizes the enemy is very useful in this regard, but this type of propaganda also introduces grave dangers, which will be demonstrated throughout my paper.

The length of this discussion prevents a full exploration of this topic, but the Japanese also produced propaganda depicting Americans in much the same way Americans depicted the Japanese, as a demonized "other": one Japanese drawing of President Roosevelt in 1941 actually depicted him with fangs and green skin (Devaux 54; see McClelland).

Japan brought America into World War II suddenly at Pearl Harbor. The United States had retained its isolationism for the first almost two years of World War II but could not resist reacting to Japan's surprise aerial attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. This abrupt exposure to the Japanese presented the American people with a very foreign picture of the Japanese man that involved not only ferocity and barbarity, but sneakiness. This perception was pictorially represented in a naval recruiting poster in order to increase the perception of the Japanese as sneaky-an American naval man grasps the American flag after he has succumbed to a Japanese sword in the back (McClelland; figure 1).

Along this same theme, to inflame feelings of victimization at the hands of a treacherous foe, the cartoonist D.R. Fitzpatrick published in a newspaper an image of a hand emerging from obscurity, wearing the Rising Sun of Japan on its sleeve, and clutching a freshly bloodied dagger (figure 2).

This image is very similar to an image found in a movie entitled "Appointment in Tokyo" (Hively). The film opens with a hand emerging from a curtain of mist, wearing a Rising Sun pinky ring, clutching a dagger that has Japanese characters on the handle. As the narrator describes specific Pacific islands invaded by the Japanese, the film image is of that dagger and hand stabbing those islands labeled on a map. (This film was released in 1945: therefore, it did not influence the attitudes of people during World War II, but it surely reflected those contemporary attitudes.)

The evilness depicted by these images supported the perception produced by America's experience at Pearl Harbor: the Japanese were evil. But the perception of an evil Japanese enemy depended upon the idea that the Japanese man was somehow different from the American man. The American people were able to view the Japanese man as fundamentally different, as the "other," because the alleged dichotomy between "East" and "West" had already been established in American minds prior to the advent of World War II. Small-scale interactions in China between American priests and businessmen prior to World War II had produced stories involving an unfamiliar and sometimes mysterious Chinese stereotype. The only contact most Americans had with Asian people were the few so-called coolies who came to find work on American railroads and mines, and eventually the stereotypical laundry facilities. These menial positions held by Chinese gave Americans reason to consider Asians not only as distinctly different, but also as an inferior race. This stereotype of a strange, inferior Chinese man became the definitive American view of all Asians, and in opposition to America's own perceived moral uprightness in World War II, Japan became the evil "other," thereby strengthening the dichotomy which resulted in the extremely racial stereotype used in propaganda of that time. In fact, the stereotyping and hatred of the Japanese commonly emphasized the racial qualities of the enemy, focusing more along the lines of race than along lines of "enemy" versus "friend." The result of this blurred line between "enemy" and "other race" was that the soldier tended to target all members of that racial group rather than simply targeting enemy combatants. As an example of this blurred line, when asked about his role in the war, the American soldier did not say that it was to "defeat Japan," but to "kill as many Japanese as possible." This hatred, and the responding hatred from the Japanese, resulted in a war unlike most others: it "resulted in savage, ferocious fighting with no holds barred. This was not the dispassionate killing seen on other fronts or in other wars. This was a brutish, primitive hatred, as characteristic of the horror of war in the Pacific as the palm trees and the islands" (Sledge xiii).

This racial hate manifested itself in many forms. One manifestation was the lexicon used to refer to Japanese people. It was the most common communication of hatred and derision of the Japanese, used by people from all walks of life, thereby illustrating the pervasiveness throughout American society of this racial perception of the enemy. These offensive words usually refer to the race of the enemy, not the enemy himself, and therefore reflected a hatred directed against the race, and not the enemy forces. "Damn slant eyes," (1) "slimy, creepy little Japs," (2) "Jap," and "Nip" (3) were not references toward military soldiers; they were references to the race of the Japanese soldiers and people. One young navy man, upon seeing the ruins of Nagasaki, went so far as to "wish they [the Japanese people] could be made to suffer a tenth of the atrocities that they performed on our men whom they held prisoner." His justification for including Japanese civilians in the scope of his hatred was that "a nation cannot wage war as they have without the backing of the majority of their people." (4) The 1944 cartoon "Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips" not only uses the reference "Nip," but Bugs Bunny becomes more creative in his influence on every theater-goer in America: he calls the Japanese soldiers "bow-legs," "monkey face," and "slant-eyes" (Freleng).

A more visible form of the manifestation of this race-focused hate was the image popular media maintained of the Japanese enemy. This very racially stereotyped image was exaggerated to portray .the Japanese as very different from Americans: not only different in his appearance and culture, but also different in his abilities--while Americans are smart and capable, Japanese were portrayed as backward and militarily, culturally, and intellectually inferior. Bugs Bunny, Popeye, and Donald Duck all starred in opposition to Japanese portrayed with slanted, slit eyes; round glasses; and buck teeth. This image, emphasizing visual difference, is similar to the image on a poster published by Texaco to encourage Americans to work hard for the war effort (Texaco Oil Company; figure 3).

The cultural differences were emphasized by featuring elements of the Japanese culture that Americans found difficult to understand. Because Americans could not come to grips with the perceived willingness of the Japanese man to give his life in battle, Americans believed that to the Japanese, "life is held less sacred than is customary in occidental lands," as reported by a bubble-gum trading card produced in 1938 (Gum, 1 Inc.; figure 4).

The visual depiction of this sentiment emphasized the inconceivable cultural practice of hara kiri, as demonstrated by a 1942 postcard in which a Japanese soldier is eager to provide the short sword for his superior officer to commit suicide (Manning; figure 5).

The other difference often illustrated in media portraying the Japanese is that they were inferior to the Americans-especially militarily. The 1943 cartoon "Tokio Jokio" featured a cartoon version of the military defenses supposedly found in Japan. The air raid siren is a Japanese man yelling through a megaphone, "Woooooo!!!" because he has been stuck with a pin by another Japanese man (and again emphasizing exaggerated cultural difference, the two men bow to each other and smile as they trade places). A character labeled "plane spotter" is a Japanese man painting spots on a plane. The film goes on to show how "General Hama demonstrates coolness and calmness of Japanese officer during air raid," as a Japanese man with buck teeth, slanted slit eyes, and round glasses runs around chaotically and repeatedly bumps into trees (McCabe). This mocking representation portraying a highly ridiculous military could only produce a feeling in the American public that Japan was a nation of silly, backward people who were very different from Americans and who could pose no military threat.

Wartime media such as movies very explicitly endorsed racially-focused hatred rather than enemy-focused hatred. It is helpful to analyze movies because in addition to influencing large numbers of people, movies tend to reflect contemporary attitudes: the aim of the movie producer, after all, is to generate revenue-his movie must appeal to the widest audience possible in order to sell the highest possible number of tickets. But the influential aspect of movies must not be ignored, especially in a time before TV at home. In fact, in 1941, each week one out of every five Americans saw a movie directly related to World War II. (5) The endorsement of racially-focused rather than enemy-focused hatred is obvious because, although both the Germans and the Japanese were America's enemies during World War II, many more anti-Japanese movies were made in America from 1942 to 1945 than anti-German movies. Additionally, many more negative references were made toward the Asian (Japanese) enemy than the white (German) enemy: among anti-Nazi movies, an average of eight negative references were made per movie whereas among anti-Japan movies, an average of twelve negative references were made per movie (Shull 297). Visual depictions of the enemy in film, cartoons, and illustrations tended to emphasize the racial features of the Asian enemy (features that were, of course, shared by the civilian population). The Japanese enemy included all Japanese people; in contrast, perception of the German enemy was very closely focused on specific people within the Nazi leadership. For example, in "Seein' Red, White 'n' Blue," a Popeye cartoon released in the theaters in 1943, the Japanese enemy was portrayed by four Japanese spies, but the German enemy was portrayed only by Hitler and Goebbels (Gordon).

This very derogatory image of the Japanese was even reinforced to new soldiers during their training-they were taught that the Japanese were different from Americans and unwilling to behave ethically. When EB. Sledge attended basic training, his instructor told him, "Don't hesitate to fight the Japs dirty. Most Americans, from the time they are kids, are taught not to hit below the belt. It's not sportsmanlike. Well, nobody has taught the Japs that, and war ain't sport. Kick him in the balls before he kicks you in yours" (Sledge 18). The extreme image of the Japanese was simply a reinforcement of the age-old American image of the Asian. This image-which involved mystery, foreignness, inferiority, and evilness-influenced American attitudes and actions toward the Japanese enemy. The low regard for Japanese was demonstrated by the manner in which American soldiers treated Japanese dead, in which American soldiers treated living Japanese soldiers and civilians, and in which American soldiers targeted civilians.

First, treatment of the Japanese dead demonstrated that Americans believed Japanese dead just did not deserve the same respect given to the American dead. E.B. Sledge described the difference in respect for Japanese dead and American dead. Since the island of Peleliu was solid coral, it was nearly impossible to bury the dead, but "it seemed indecent" to leave American dead exposed and uncovered. These American dead were covered with a poncho; but the Japanese dead were left where they fell, distorted among the rocks and hills, (6) eaten by flies, rotting, a few even pressed flat in the roadway by American truck after truck running over them (Khan 147). Sledge admits: I "never could bear the sight of American dead neglected on the battlefield. In contrast, the sight of Japanese corpses bothered me little aside from the stench and the flies they nourished" (148). The indifference felt toward Japanese dead was so deep that one dead Japanese machine gunner had been left until his skull was open and collected rainwater. A Marine passed the time by tossing coral pebbles into the skull (Sledge 122). Another Marine used a Japanese skull to decorate the front of his truck (Khan 68), and World War II Marine Sy M Kahn used a Japanese skull as a candle-holder in his foxhole (82). American soldiers would even dig up Japanese corpses in order to take a skull or teeth as souvenirs (Khan 68). In addition, the dead Japanese soldiers' personal belongings were often taken for souvenirs, and gold teeth were pried out of their mouths (Sledge 118).

Second, poor treatment of the living Japanese soldiers demonstrated that Japanese life had much less value than American life. Very often soldiers contradicted the Geneva Conventions and America's own ideas of ethical behavior by shooting the Japanese as they tried to surrender. Kahn heard from another Marine that an English-speaking Japanese soldier told the Marine that he wanted to surrender because he had a wife and three children. After shooting him, the Marine said, "Now he has a widow and three orphans" (58). And Americans were very cruel to wounded Japanese: one Marine wanted the gold caps out of the mouth of a still-living, though badly wounded Japanese soldier. The Japanese soldier's writhing about made it so difficult to retrieve the caps that the Marine slashed the soldier's cheeks on both sides from the mouth to the ear, put his boot on the soldier's lower jaw as leverage, and pried the caps out with his knife (Sledge 118).

Third, perceiving the enemy in terms of race resulted in a relaxed attitude in regard to civilian casualties. It is clear that German cities were also bombed, but the targets were primarily military and industrial in nature, and those damaged by American bombing were on a smaller relative scale than the cities targeted in Japan. The United States joined the British in the skies over Germany in February 1945, and the United States actually encouraged the British to focus on military targets instead of area bombing, as British Air Marshall Arthur Harris preferred (Doughty 777). The most infamous example of civilian deaths as a result of Allied aerial bombardment over Germany was the city of Dresden in February 1945, resulting in 25,000 deaths (USAF), including military, workers in the targeted factories and industrial centers, and civilians. This is a large number, but it is a fraction of the civilian deaths resulting from American bombing of Japanese cities, and the scope of civilian deaths in Dresden was not typical of the American air effort over Germany, nor was it an American policy to target civilian centers in Germany, while targeting civilian centers in Japan was typical of the American policy there. Because of the difficulty of targeting small, decentralized military production factories, Major General Curtis E. LeMay decided in February 1945 instead to target Japanese cities: the firestorm his bombs created killed 83,000 and injured 41,000 Japanese civilians in Tokyo alone (Doughty 837). In the following incendiary attacks on all of Japan's industrial cities, hundreds of thousands of civilians died (Doughty 837). One veteran who was a tail gunner during the raids over Japan said that returning from bombing missions at night, the fires from American bombs in each city were so great that he could determine which cities they were from their position in respect to each other, and he could read them like a map (Herbert). Additionally, over 90,000 civilians died in the atomic attack on Hiroshima, and 35,000 in Nagasaki (Doughty 838).

Worse than a relaxed attitude toward civilian casualties was the intentional targeting of civilians through the soldiers' race-based perception that the enemy included Japanese civilians. As his unit was waiting to go to the front line, Kahn heard stories from other Marines. One story described how a Marine unit, after having found some comrades dead and mutilated, surrounded a group of Japanese. Several Japanese nurses came running from that group toward the Marines, trying to surrender, mostly unclothed so that it was apparent they were female. The Marines "cut them down unmercifully, claiming revenge for Bataan" (58).

Though more an evidence of homefront attitudes than military attitudes, it is also possible to see racial discrimination when the treatment of Japanese in America is examined: Japan and Germany were both enemies, but Japanese in America were treated much worse than Germans in America. This is true for both Japanese and German citizens, Japanese and German nationals living in America, and Japanese and German prisoners of war in America. The 1942 internment of approximately 120,000 Japanese in America is well documented-over two-thirds of these Japanese people were American citizens (Carroll 223). What remains undocumented is internment of any German Americans. In contrast, German prisoners of war, enemy soldiers who had been captured during combat against American soldiers, were served in American diners (Carroll 315) and given freedom from prisoner camps to do agricultural outdoor work. (7)

It must be made clear that these actions based on racial hate were not a response to actual conditions such as Japanese-American spies or any other suspicious unAmerican activity. In fact, many of the Japanese Americans were respected business owners or farmers, and some were even distinguished World War I veterans. As well, most members of the highly decorated 100th Infantry battalion and 422nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II were Japanese Americans (Carroll 224). Despite this reality, the common perception of the Japanese in America was that they were a "5th column" that performed "dirty inside work" to aid the Japanese military effort, as depicted in a poster encouraging Americans to report suspicious activity (Zbynek 52; figure 6).

The perception was that all Japanese were spies disguised as tourists taking pictures, hair stylists on American military bases passing information they overheard to Japanese authorities, and undercover Japanese soldiers integrating themselves into American society in order later to aid the Japanese takeover (Capra). This is the view explicitly stated in the film "Know Your Enemy-Japan" and reflected in the 1943 cartoon "Seein' Red, White 'n' Blue," in which active Japanese spies are found by Popeye to be masquerading as babies in an American orphanage (Gordon). "Know Your Enemy-Japan" also instructs that all Japanese are the same, civilians included, because the Japanese government was a "vicious system of political and religious regimentation that hammers, kneads, and molds the whole population until it becomes an obedient mass with but a single mind." The necessity of eliminating the Japanese threat is expressed by the image of an American soldier in the act of firing a rifle, accompanied by the dehumanizing narration, "Defeating this nation is as necessary as shooting down a mad dog in your neighborhood." Although this film did not arrive in American theaters until after the war ended, it reflected the contemporary perception Americans held of Japanese people; for example, the very first spoken words in the film are: "We shall never completely understand the Japanese mind. But then, they don't understand ours, either." A similar commentary on the Asian mind as different from ours was expressed during an interview with a World War II veteran when he said that the Japanese "weren't as good military-wise thinking, they" were deficient in comparison to the American ability to perceive military situations (Gayle). And while the film may have come out too late to influence attitudes toward the Japanese, it established the Japanese as a distinct racial and cultural "other," (8) which no doubt extended to the Koreans and Chinese a few years later during the Korean War.

There is a distinct difference between promoting an attitude of duty which will convince a soldier to fight the enemy, and promoting an extreme, distorted view of the enemy which is so racially negative and dehumanizing that it decreases a soldier's ability to differentiate between enemy and non-combatant and removes a soldier's reluctance to engage in extreme violence. Often propaganda used to encourage men to fight the enemy is so extreme that it does not reflect reality, and instead distorts the character of the enemy into a racial stereotype. This demonization of the enemy's race can affect a soldier's perception in such a way that necessary military violence against the enemy sometimes deteriorates into extreme violence and atrocities against a hated racial group. The other danger of using racially focused propaganda to convince men of the necessity and morality of killing the enemy is that very often there are civilians near the front who share the racial features of the enemy. If hatred is aroused against a racial group, soldiers tend to perceive the enemy in racial terms, and noncombatant members of that racial group may become targets of those influenced by the propaganda.

It is clear that representation of the Asian enemy in film and popular media consistently emphasized race, and that the American soldier's perception of the image of the Japanese enemy was consistent as the "other." It is also clear that these representations of the Japanese enemy had the power to influence action-the emphasis on race resulted in unnecessary atrocities and civilian casualties. Surely most commanders and most soldiers behaved appropriately toward civilians and enemy soldiers. But an environment that promotes a characterization of the enemy in extremely negative racial terms creates a tendency to indulge in racially-focused violence.


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(1) Lt. Cdr. Paul E. Spangler, M.D., a surgeon stationed at Pearl Harbor. in a letter to his buddies (Carroll, 186).

(2) And "japbastards" (Lince 80).

(3) 20-year old Pfc. Richard King of the 27th Infantry Division. in a September 8, 1945 letter from Okinawa to his parents (Carroll 302).

(4) 19-year-old seaman Keith Lynch in a September 23. 1945 letter to his parents (Carroll 312).

(5) According to Shull, "during 1942 ... 85 million Americans attended the movies each week." This is 64% of the 1942 U.S. population. Also according to Shull, "by the end of 1941 almost a third ... of American motion picture productions related in some way to the Second World War" (Shull 1, 17).

(6) (Sledge 142) This was confirmed by World War II veteran R. Bruce Watkins, who wrote, "Our Groves Registration Troops worked valiantly to remove our dead, while the Japanese were left where the) fell until the lines advanced and they could be buried in mass graves."

(7) From a letter by Al Loveless, who witnessed German POWs walking down the road in front of his house en route to pick peaches in his community, in Albany, Georgia (Brokaw 233).

(8) The "otherness" coupled with the "Asian-ness" of this enemy was repeatedly emphasized in this film. Even the opening sequence pictures the words "Ri Ben," which means "Japan." then there is a newspaper picture of a sword execution, the background is Japanese music (which seems very discordant to American ears), and the imagery dwells on a tribal dance which seems very foreign, of the type usually associated with native peoples.





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Gale Document Number: GALE|A144049931