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“How to tell a Chinese from a ’Jap.’”

During World War II, Chinese Americans, who had often been lumped together with other Asians and even called “Japs,” worried that anti-Japanese hatred would be directed at them. The U.S. alliance with China forced Americans to differentiate between Japanese and Chinese, although it did not abolish racial stereotypes Americans held about either group. These three panels from the Pocket Guide to China, a U.S. Army pamphlet distributed to soldiers and illustrated by cartoonist Milton Caniff (best known for the comic strips Terry and the Pirates and, after the war, Steve Canyon), show how outrageous racial stereotypes were used to distinguish between Asian friend and foe in official wartime publications.

Source: American Social History Project.