http://www.japantimes.com/cgi-bin/getar ... 0807tc.htm
....Shukan Shincho sheds light on a heretofore unreported aspect of the Pacific War: To better understand its enemy, America's Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of today's CIA, recruited experts to critique Japanese movies.
Their report, a 22-page document dated 30 March, 1944, and titled "Japanese Films: A Phase of Psychological Warfare," analyzed the themes, psychological content, technical quality, and propaganda value of 20 Japanese films produced between 1938 and 1941.
The report was unsparing in its acknowledgment that Japanese films were indeed persuasive propaganda. Japanese males were characterized as being courageous and composed, kind and tolerant. China, meanwhile, is represented by women who are alluring, but obstinate and capricious. Western culture is disparaged through stereotypical portrayals, with Japanese or other Asian males with a Western education -- typically shown indulging in American cigarettes and jazz music -- portrayed as cowardly, deceitful, pleasure-seeking and venal.
The films in the list ranged from an episode in the "Tange Sazen" series, about a one-eyed, one-armed samurai, to the 1940 romantic drama "Night in China (Shina no Yoru)," a joint production by Toho Studios and the China Film Corp. Since only the English titles are given, two films -- "The Rape of the Flute" and "Song of the Little Bird" -- remain unidentified.
Takahisa Furukawa, author of "Senjika no Nihon Eiga (Japanese Wartime Cinema)," explains to Shukan Shincho that films of this era generally reflected Japan's national policy. No wonder then that the U.S. analysts observed a recurring message extolling the virtues of self sacrifice, noting, "Through his death, [the character] accomplishes something. He also provides a motive for those left behind to emulate . . . or a pattern of behavior from which they should enthusiastically learn and acquit themselves. By this, he guarantees the continuity of his family and culture."
Thus, through their cinema, U.S. analysts perceived Japanese as stoic toward the hardships of war and death. But they also acknowledged the films' artistry. After viewing the performance of actor Kamatari Fujiwara (1905-1985) in "Chocolate and the Soldier," Hollywood director Frank Capra was said to have remarked, "We can't surpass this film. It's the type that might only come along once every 10 years. We have no performers of this caliber."
While America devoted its top minds and resources to understanding the enemy, there is no data to suggest that Japan engaged in similar research.
"During the war, America's Department of the Army, Navy, State Department and others recruited experts from all fields to study the opposing side's situation," observes Kenji Tanikawa, associate professor of Cinema History at Ibaraki University. "Japan, on the other hand, prohibited the public showing of American movies along with banning 'enemy language,' such as banning use of the term 'strike' at baseball games, and so on.
"The postures of Japan and the U.S. were a study in diametric opposites."
Also something on wartime cartoons:
http://www.awn.com/mag/issue1.7/article ... chor157125
http://www.awn.com/mag/issue1.7/images/ ... otoro1.gif