Propaganda Kimono
Boy’s Kimono |  Rayon  |  27”x 28.5”

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Propaganda Kimono

Some knowledge of Japanese tradition is useful in comprehending the cultural appropriateness of this tiny, zesty, baby's garment with its repetitive pattern of bombs and military gear. That a parent would consider this appropriate for their toddler is testimony to the power and longevity of Japan's nationalistic propaganda machine. But the child who wore this in the 1930's would never be old enough to fight in WWII

After the Meiji Restoration of 1868, militarism, as codified in the traditional samurai ethos of bushido, and modernism, in the Japanese recognition of how far they lagged behind the industrialized West, combined in a potent, and later, explosive mixture of resentment that led to the invasion of China (1895), Russia (1905), China again (1932) and ultimately, Pearl Harbor (1941).