News On Japan

Know Your Enemy : Japan | World War Propaganda Documentary HD

Jun 01 (TRNGL) - Know Your Enemy: Japan is an American World War II propaganda film about the Japan's aggressive war directed by Frank Capra, with additional direction by experimental documentary filmmaker Joris Ivens.

The film, which was commissioned by the U.S. War Department, sought to educate American soldiers about Japan, its people, society and history, and its totalitarian militaristic government. However, the film never realized its full purpose because its completion was delayed by disputes between Hollywood and Washington, and the abrupt end of Japan's war of aggression soon after the film's release in August 1945. The film's first public screening was in 1977 as part of a PBS special.

The film's main purpose was to maintain the fighting spirit of the United States military forces for the final push against the Japanese Home Islands, where the resistance was expected to be the fiercest. The historian John W. Dower said that the film

[was a potpourri of most of the English speaking world's dominant clichés about the Japanese enemy, excluding the crudest, most vulgar, and most blatantly racist [which] captured the passions and presumptions that underlay not only the ferocity of the clash in Asia and the Pacific, but also the sweeping agenda of reformist policies that the Allied powers subsequently attempted to impose upon a defeated and occupied Japan. ]

The release date of Know Your Enemy: Japan turned out to utterly destroy its propaganda value because it was August 9, 1945, three days after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and the day that Soviets invaded Manchuria and Nagasaki was bombed. When it became clear that the Japanese surrender was becoming a reality, American foreign policy in the Pacific rapidly switched from war to negotiation. In response, General Douglas MacArthur decided that the film should not be shown, as previously planned, to all military personnel in the Pacific Theatre. He also recommended that it should be withheld from public release.



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