Monday, September 28, 2009

Japanese War Propaganda Maps for Kids

Unlike Germany which called itself the Greater German Empire in World War II, the Japanese were much more media savvy in their endeavor. Calling itself the innocent sounding Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere, the Japanese never the less sought an empire run by ethnic Japanese and manned by national collaborates.

In the children's propaganda booklet Manifesto for Greater East Asian Co-operation maps and pictures were used to make the Japanese Empire look like an international effort of decolonization. The booklet say the Japanese are merely aligning themselves with Thailand (Thailand first allowed Japanese to enter it under force but then joined forces in 1942 because the king thought the Japanese were winning) to liberate the Philippines, Indonesia, China (from itself?), Burma, and India.

To accomplish this Japan set up an independent puppet state in Manchuria called Manchukuo, had several Chinese puppet states, established a Filipino republic, an Indian government, and a Burmese state. Later on Axis-on-Axis violence occurred in Vichy French Indochina and a Vietnamese puppet state was formed.

The maps are below (click to enlarge), showing a before and after look at what the Japanese wanted their children to think. Notice how there is no mentioning of China in the before map. Having Japanese fighting Chinese would defeat the desired narrative.

The Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere was destroyed and what it created ignored expect in the Philippines. In the 1960s, the nationalist President Diosdado Macapagal made Japanese-puppet President Jose Laurel's reign official so that Laurel is considered the third president of the Philippines.


Joe Jones said...

China is most certainly mentioned in the "before" map as チュウクヮミンコク (Chukwa-minkoku) or "Republic of China." It just doesn't have a flag for some reason.

Catholicgauze said...

Thanks for pointing out the ROC in Japanese. What I meant to say was that visual China was not shown (via flag). Asian on Asian violence goes against Japan's desired narrative.