Jan. 14, 2020, 4:16 p.m.(UTC)
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This film is a 1945 American propaganda documentary directed by Frank Capra and produced by the U.S. War Department. The original intention of the film was to prepare U.S. soldiers for war before deployment in the Pacific, though ultimately it never realized this purpose due to the war's abrupt end soon after the film's completion. The hour-long film sought to educate American soldiers about their adversary's history and society, particularly the course up to the Pacific War, and the totalitarian nature of the Japanese state. It depicted the Japanese as a homogeneous people willing to fight to the end for the Emperor in their quest for world domination. Today, the film is used to show the portrayal of the Japanese people during World War 2.
Despite the fact that planning for the documentary began in 1942, immediately after Pearl Harbor, the film was not completed and released until August 9th 1945, near the end of the war, and the day Nagasaki was bombed. The production was troubled from the very beginning by the inability of the U.S. government to determine what exactly the foreign policy towards Japan should be. The film was revised multiple times for reasons such as seeming too sympathetic by depicting the Japanese as being completely controlled by the Emperor thus fighting the war against their will. Once the film was released, it was only shown for a few weeks, and was discontinued at the end of August 1945 after Japan surrendered. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were a turning point for American foreign policy in the Pacific, and when policy switched from war to negotiation, a movie persuading the American people to continue fighting became undesirable. General MacArthur decided to withhold the film from the troops and he recommended that it not be released to the public.
Know Your Enemy: Japan is considered to be a masterpiece of documentary filmmaking. The film itself was a compilation of footage obtained from authentic newsreels, captured or confiscated Japanese films, scenes from fictional Japanese movies for historical background, and re-enactments supervised by the war department. It was narrated by Walter Huston and Dana Andrews.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND / CONTEXT
The Pacific War, sometimes called the Asia-Pacific War, was the theater of World War 2 that was fought in the Pacific and East Asia. The Second Sino-Japanese War between the Empire of Japan and the Republic of China had been in progress since 7 July 1937, with hostilities dating back as far as 19 September 1931 with the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. However, it is more widely accepted that the Pacific War itself began on 7/8 December 1941, when Japan invaded Thailand and attacked the British possessions of Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong as well as the United States military bases in Hawaii, Wake Island, Guam and the Philippines.
The attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, that severely damaged the American Pacific fleet, came as a profound shock to the American people and led directly to the American entry into World War 2. The following day, December 8, the United States declared war on the Empire of Japan. The lack of any formal warning, particularly while negotiations were still apparently ongoing, led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to proclaim December 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy". Because the attack happened without a declaration of war and without explicit warning, the attack on Pearl Harbor was judged by the Tokyo Trials to be a war crime after the end of World War 2.
The war on the Pacific against the Empire of Japan culminated in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States Army Air Forces, accompanied by the Soviet invasion of Manchuria on 8 August 1945, resulting in the Japanese announcement of intent to surrender on 15 August 1945. The formal and official surrender of Japan took place aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945.
Know Your Enemy: Japan | WW2 Propaganda Documentary | 1945
NOTE: THE VIDEO DOCUMENTS HISTORICAL EVENTS. SINCE IT WAS PRODUCED DECADES AGO, IT HAS HISTORICAL VALUES AND CAN BE CONSIDERED AS A VALUABLE HISTORICAL DOCUMENT. THE VIDEO HAS BEEN UPLOADED WITH EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. ITS TOPIC IS REPRESENTED WITHIN HISTORICAL CONTEXT. THE VIDEO DOES NOT CONTAIN SENSITIVE SCENES AT ALL!