Depicting the enemy.
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Depicting the enemy.

This cover of the December, 1942, issue of Collier’’s magazine commemorated the first anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The vampire-bat portrayal of Prime Minister Hideki Tojo indicates one way in which American popular media and war propaganda presented the Japanese. Unlike images of the European enemy, the Japanese were depicted as vicious animals, most often taking the form of apes or parasitic insects. The same racial stereotypes were also applied to Japanese living in America. Suspecting their loyalty, the U.S. government rounded up all Japanese Americans living on the west coast—citizens and non-citizens alike—and transported them to detention centers in the West. Forced to abandon their homes, jobs, and businesses, Japanese Americans remained detained in camps for the duration of the war.

Source: Arthur Szyk, Collier’s, December 12, 1942—American Social History Project.