• ISIS vs. Imperial Japan Propaganda Showdown

    November 7, 2014

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Democracy


    There are basically only two messages in propaganda: our side is good, strong and will win, and their side is evil, weak and will lose. Everything else is just music and narration.

    So to demonstrate how little propaganda statements towards whomever happens to be America’s enemy of the time change, let’s have a look at the 1943 propaganda film here, made to help stir up Americans for the long fight ahead to defeat Imperial Japan during World War II. Everybody likes Japan now, but remember the country that now makes our anime, manga and weird porn used to want to conquer us, even going as far as beheading hostages (sound familiar?)

    The Video

    What We Learn

    In the video we learn many things about the evil Japanese (and ISIS):

    — They are fighting a “Holy War” against the West (no change with ISIS);

    — They are trying to establish a world government with everyone living their austere, Emperor-worshipping lifestyle, with their harsh laws (substitute Caliphate);

    — They fight “fanatically,” and are willing to give their lives for the Emperor, believing Shinto paradise awaits them (substitute Allah and the same Paradise, less virgins on the Japanese side);

    — You “cannot measure the way Japanese think by any Western standard. While their weapons are modern, their thinking and beliefs are 2000 years out of date” (no change with ISIS);

    — The Japanese believe they have a “sacred duty” to fight for the Emperor against all others (ISIS, infidels, Allah, you get it)

    — They are “fanatics, and we must kill them before they destroy our way of life” (no change with ISIS);

    — The Japanese are not nice to their women (no change with ISIS);

    — They hate us (no change with ISIS);

    — They behead hostages (no change with ISIS)

    The Long Con

    Now, this all begs the question: if the core propaganda messages the U.S. government promoted during World War II are nearly identical to those pushed out today via the mass media about ISIS, does that tell us something? Is it that our enemies, as varied as Imperial Japan and ISIS across some sixty-five years of conflicts, are just so much alike, or is it that when America needs a villain, it goes to the same playbook? After all, what works, works.

    Why reinvent the scam?

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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...


      IF ISIS or whatever they are called this week are really as threatening to US as 1940-Japan, then we must draft every able body immediately…if not sooner.

      No? I thought so.

      11/7/14 3:08 PM | Comment Link

    • Helen Marshall said...


      While everyone may “like” Japan, those of us who want the whale killing to stop are not so keen on it…there is still a great deal of underlying militarism in Japanese culture, which the USG is happy to stir up as it pivots to Asia (i.e, pokes the Chinese tiger).

      11/7/14 3:57 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      I agree 100% on the whaling. What a stupid, pointless thing for Japan to insist on doing.

      The bulk of the show-off militarism (Yasukuni, etc) in Japan is for domestic right-wing votes, posturing not unlike our own conservative idiots.

      The actual rearming and aggressive military preparations in Japan are almost all US-created (though they have their advocates in Japan too) The US wants to sell weapons and the US wants a little buddy in its fights with China.

      11/7/14 4:23 PM | Comment Link

    • Bruce said...


      The primary exception being the (very) definition of ISIS : US (CIA); it is in fact, al Sham (only Poppy & Company can make this stuff up AND catapult the propaganda via its tiny turlitzer)!

      11/7/14 9:30 PM | Comment Link

    • jo6pac said...


      This is old history and my country right or mostly wrong doesn’t do this;)

      11/8/14 12:55 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      11/8/14 1:18 AM | Comment Link

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