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WWII - Anti-Japanese Sentiment and Propaganda

  1. What Should Students Know About WWII? • Large numbers can not name the Allies • Confused about when the war was fought • Most can’t name the President • Fewer still can name key Generals • Almost no one can remember key battles • Pearl Harbor a mystery • Many believe US & Germany fought against the Soviet Union • Most do know about the Holocaust • They do identify Hitler correctly One class of college Freshman 1. When was WWII fought? 2. What caused US to join WWII? 3. Who was President of the US during WWII 4. When you think of WWII what do you think of? 1. One of 36 1939-1945 2. 16 of 36 said Pearl Harbor 3. 1 said FDR--others ranged from George Washington to George Bush 4. violence 22; Iraq 2; generals riding horses
  2. WWIIThe Japanese
  3. December 7, 1941, “A day that will live in infamy” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
  4. Today, World War II is often remembered and romanticized as the “Good War”. Why? • America helped defeat fascism • A Japanese victory in the Pacific would have been bad • Rosie the Riveter • John Wayne, Hollywood • Ending the Holocaust • Democracy over Fascism • We won!
  5. Why the Japanese and not the Germans? • Germany was a good customer. • Surveys showed that many Americans felt that Jews did have too much power and influence. • Japan attacked us. • The white, dominant culture identified more with Europe and many were Germany and Italian themselves. They shared common religion, arts, heritage, history, and culture. • Greater physical differences between white Americans and Japanese versus Germans and Italians. • The brutality with which the Japanese had attacked China shocked people. It seemed unnatural, un-human.
  6. Surveys on Attitudes Towards the EnemyPerceptions: Japanese could… • see in the dark • kill for the pleasure of killing • were totally at home in trees--hence monkeys • always wore glasses Americans asked to describe the… Japanese Treacherous 73% Warlike 46% Sly 62% Germans Treacherous 43% Russians Treacherous 10% A 1944 public opinion poll 13% of Americans wanted the Japanese exterminated as a nation A 1945 public opinion poll 22% expressed regret that more atomic bombs were not dropped on the Japanese
  7. Government Propaganda How did the government shape public perceptions of the Japanese? Was it necessary?
  8. “We are drowning and burning them all over the Pacific, and it is just as much pleasure to burn them as to drown them.” -Admiral William “Bull” Halsey (US Naval Commander in the Pacific): “I wish we were fighting the Germans. They are human beings. But the Japs are like animals . . .” -An American soldier in the Pacific told John Hersey (American Journalist) “In Europe we felt our enemies . . . were still people but in the Pacific (they were) subhuman and repulsive; the way some people feel about mice or cockroaches.” -WWII Journalist Ernie Pyle Anti-German propaganda was directed against the Gestapo, Hitler, the SS, etc. Anti-Japanese propaganda was directed towards all Japanese.
  9. Hideki Tojo – Prime Minister of Japan
  10. Media How did new the news media portray the Japanese?
  11. “A viper is nonetheless a viper wherever the egg is hatched--so a Japanese- American, born of Japanese parents, grows up to be a Japanese not an American.” -Los Angeles Times
  12. Dr. Seuss
  13. Popular Culture How does propaganda effect popular culture?
  14. Life Magazine – Distinguishing Chinese from Japanese
  15. Internment of the Japanese How did war effect Japanese Americans?
  16. Internment Camps General John DeWitt Army General in charge of “evacuation” and Interment Camps 1943 stated: “the Japs must be wiped off the face of the earth.”
  17. MP3 - Fort Minor, Kenji
  18. Portland Assembly Center – Expo Center
  19. CombatHow did Japanese Americans contribute to the US war effort? What was the nature of combat between the US and Japanese?
  20. “…the Japanese made a perfect enemy. They has so many characteristics that and American Marine could hate. Physically, they were small, a strange color and, by some standards unattractive…Marines did not consider that they were killing men. They were wiping out dirty animals.” -US Marine LIFE Magazine, May 22,1944 Caption: Arizona war worker write her boyfriend a thank-you note for the Jap skull sent to her. An American officer told Charles Lindbergh in 1944 that he had seen Japanese bodies with ears and noses cut off: “Our boys cut them off to show their friends in fun, or to dry and take back to the United States when they go. We found one Marine with a Japanese head. He was trying to get the ants to clean the flesh off the skull, but the odor got so bad we had to take it away from him.” A Marine Corps veteran recorded in his memoirs the horrific scene of another Marine extracting gold teeth from the jaw of a wounded but still struggling Japanese, a task which he had attempted to facilitate by slashing the victim’s cheeks from ear to ear and kneeling on his chin.
  21. Japanese-Americans at War Of 127,000 Japanese Americans living in the continental United States at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, 112,000 resided on the West Coast. About 80,000 were nisei and sansei. The rest were issei (immigrants born in Japan who were ineligible for U.S. citizenship). Japanese Americans, in Hawaii comprised 1/3 of the population. Because they were essential to in keeping the economy and naval bases operating, very few were interned (approx. 1%).
  22. • 100 Battalion and the 442 fought in Italy • Most decorated in US history • 21 Medals of Honor • 52 Distinguished Service Crosses • 9,486 Purple Hearts “Will you swear unqualified allegiance to the United States of America and faithfully defend the United States from any or all attack by foreign or domestic forces, and forswear any form of allegiance or obedience to the Japanese emperor, or any other foreign government, power or organization?”
  23. Persistent Stereotypes To what extent does anti-Japanese sentiment exist today?
  24. Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) - Mr. Yunioshi Poster outside of a restaurant in Guangzhou, China. China 47% France 375 Turkey 35% Germany 34% Italy 31% United Kingdom 16% United States 11% Japan 7% Mainly Negative View of Japan – 2010 (BBC)