My Japan

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My Japan is een 1945 Amerikaans anti-Japanese propaganda korte film geproduceerd voor het verkopen van American war bonds (obligaties). De war bonds waren nodig om de oorlog te financieren. Het verhaal wordt verteld door een Amerikaanse acteur geschminkt als Japanner. Deze film probeert haat en angst te creëren zodat mensen war bonds kopen.

Content

The technique used in My Japan is a form of reverse psychology – to make Americans angry with themselves for their materialistic values, and then turn this anger against the enemy:
“They work longer hours than you do, twice as long, quite often. Why not? They’re not working for the clock. They’re working to win the war! They do not make as much money as you do. Well, they are not working to make money, they are working to win war! They work every day of every week. Is this so strange? They are not working to get days off, they are working to win the war!”
“How we suffer when you do not have a full tank of gasoline. How devastated we are at the sight of you jammed into pleasure trains. How we tremble when you have to wait to get into the movies, restaurants and nightclubs….You are a nation of bargain-hunters” (My Japan).

The film also seeks to anger Americans by belittling their military achievements up to that point:
“Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima – you boast of them as major victories; to you they are. To us they are minor defeats – the loss of island outposts. You Americans are fond of saying ‘look at the score.’ Very well, look at it. You sent your finest troops against these outposts. They died by the thousands. Here they are massacred, slaughtered. But you took the islands, you say. Yes, we expected you to. That is why we garrisoned them with second-rate troops. The best of your lives for the worst of ours. WE TOO, know a thing or two about bargains. You have not yet faced the best of our armies. You have faced only ten percent of our worst!” (My Japan)

Propaganda Comparisons
Visuals seen in My Japan can also be witnessed in another source of propaganda from 1945, Know Your Enemy: Japan, directed by Frank Capra. These images, having been claimed to be footage taken by the enemy, are placed in a context which allows for the benefits of buying and holding war bonds to be seen. These duplicate images include workers of rice fields, school children being taught by ‘trained government personnel’, workers in iron factories, volcanoes, and dead soldiers. Each one of these placed in different contexts to ‘prove’ two separate points: the effectiveness of the Japanese culture and economy as well as the unknown ‘threat’ that Japan held for Americans. The latter was to be corrected through the purchase of war bonds.