Propaganda Kimono
Man’s Nagajuban  |  Rayon?  |  50”x 47”

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Propaganda Kimono

Momotaro is a popular hero from Japanese folklore. His name literally means Peach Taro; as Taro is a common Japanese boy's name, it is often translated as Peach Boy. Years later, Momotaro left his parents for an island called Onigashima (on the map) to destroy the marauding oni (demons or ogres) that dwelt there. En route, Momotaro met and befriended a talking dog, monkey, and pheasant, who agreed to help him in his quest. At the island, Momotaro and his animal friends penetrated the demons' fort and beat the demons' leader, Ura, as well as his army, into surrendering. Momotaro returned home with his new friends, and his family lived comfortably from then on. (Wikipedia).

A feisty, child warrior, Momotaro was ripe for exploitation in the propaganda kimono and several variants featuring him with battleships and other 20th century war machines are known to exist. The battleship here stands in for the ship that typically is shown that takes him to the island. The searchlight from the ship seems to be illuminating Peking's Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China.