The Thought War: Japanese Imperial Propaganda by Barak Kushner
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The Thought War is the first book in English to examine the full extent of Japan’s wartime propaganda. Based on a wide range of archival material and sources in Japanese, Chinese, and English, it explores the propaganda programs of the Japanese government from 1931 to 1945, demonstrating the true scope of imperial propaganda and its pervasive influence, an influence that is still felt today. Contrary to popular postwar rhetoric, it was not emperor worship or military authoritarianism that led an entire nation to war. Rather, it was the creation of a powerful image of Japan as the leader of modern Asia and the belief that the Japanese could and would guide Asia to a new, glorious period of reform that appealed to imperial subjects.
"The Thought War is a unique and remarkable study. Barak Kushner reveals that Japanese propaganda during World War II was astonishingly sophisticated, diverse, and effective. What’s more, the methods, messages, and makers of wartime propaganda proved just as successful at shaping public opinion in the wake of Japan’s defeat as they earlier had been in mobilizing the nation for war. Kushner’s insights on Japan’s path from empire, through war, and into postwar reconstruction are provocative, compelling, and thoroughly convincing." ―William M. Tsutsui, chair of the Department of Asian Studies, University of Kansas