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And in order to make a whole nation of people support the war with mind and spirit, there needs to be influence. Much of the social warfare between the United States and Japan involved instilling within their people both a strong nationalistic pride for their own country as well as an incendiary hatred for the other.This was done with the help of the medianewspapers, books, radio, and filmthat were consequently used as propaganda against the enemy.And during time of war, a nation often tries to stir up a common sense of purpose under which its people can unite.
The series of confrontational events that led up to Pearl Harbor and the events that followed up until the Japanese surrender in 1945, were waged on the political, economic, and military fronts, but one aspect of the war which is sometimes overlooked is the war waged on the social front.
What makes the social aspect of war so significant is that it involves a dynamic within the human person.
Moving pictures and audible words and music brought to life what was only still and static in a book or poster. Not to be outdone, the Japanese had their own cinematic propaganda.
In 1942, the Academy Award for best documentary went to Frank Capras Why We Fight, which was the first of a series of war documentaries he made under the commission of the U. Chocolate and Soldiers and The Story of Tank Commander Nishizumi, two very popular Japanese wartime films, were effective as propaganda tools for Japanese audiences.
Anthropologist Ruth Benedict once exclaimed, Japanese films have a propaganda courage which Americans films have usually lacked (Dower 35).
Japanese movies were not afraid to show weakness and hardship that were associated with war.
Although news sources attempt to be as objective as possible, there is always a grain of cultural salt that factors into how people interpret that objective information.
Socioeconomic conditions, political situations, and social atmosphere not only contribute to how news and information are interpreted, but are also reflected in them.
Much of the material was racist and catered to such ideas as racial inferiority and ethnic supremacy.
Ones own nation was always the civilized one while the enemy was depicted as barbaric, sub-human, and in some cases, demonic.