Propaganda Kimono
Man's Nagajuban  |  Silk |  49 x 48"

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Propaganda Kimono

2009 was celebrated in Japan as the 70th anniversary of the flight of the Nippon go, the first Japanese plane to circumnavigate the earth. This elegant man's nagajuban from 1939 shows the plane superimposed over the globe with a map of its route and vignettes and flags of countries around the world.

Just as the Kamikaze galvanized the Japanese public in 1937 with its speed record between Tokyo and London, the Nippon go's flight was hailed as a triumph for Japan's self-image as a world power two years later. More importantly for the Japanese government, both these planes were prototype or variants of military aircraft. The Kamikaze laid the ground-work for the Mitsubishi A6M Type O "Zero" fighter used in WWII while the Nippon go was a specially altered G3M "Nell" long-range bomber (also made by Mitsubishi) used to devastating effect in China and throughout the Pacific Theater from 1937 - 1943.