Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Okay, so this may just be me...but does/did anyone find WW2 really awkward to discuss in school? I feel bad saying one country is wrong, and the lesson usually has some racist racist undertones. One of my friends had to draw racist pictures of Japanese people for her lesson, to imitate the American propaganda posters during WW2. Also, I feel that both sides aren't represented equally. I find that topics such as the concentration camps/the bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki are not really given any attention.

I also went to school in Japan for a few weeks one summer, and learning about WW2 there was VERY awkward as well. They hardly discussed Pearl Harbor, and only discussed racism against Japanese/the bombings. At that school, everyone freely went around calling me "gaijin" and all eyes were on me as the teacher emotionally spoke about how racist Americans were, and how the students shouldn't succumb to the same sort of discrimination by calling me "gaijin". Ahhh horrible.

Anyway, did anyone else have an awkward experience with discussing WW2 during school, being half?
Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.
A lot on the atomic bombings and internment camps, not so much on Pearl Harbor or the Rape of Nanking--and this is in small-town PA. While I'm not sure I would have appreciated the unvarnished truth at the time, looking back I'm surprised by how much Japanese atrocities were whitewashed. Yes, in a post-9/11 world, where Pearl Harbor is equated to 9/11, perhaps it wouldn't be wise to beat the drum about how bad it was (and in any case I'm still not convinced Pearl Harbor was as bad a war crime as it's said to be). However, when I did find out about the Japanese atrocities in the Pacific, I was pretty shocked, and it took me a while to sort things out.
. . .
In any case, getting back to the topic, no, it wasn't that bad learning about WWII in high school.

On another note, WWII propaganda is at once sickening and bewildering.
My Japan: a "real" member of the Yellow Menace taunts America with visions of an invincible Japanese war machine, smug in the knowledge that the Asiatic hordes will sweep all that is good and Anglo-Saxon in the world . . . unless you buy war bonds. I had to leave off halfway through.
Our Enemy, the Japanese: [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif[/img]

[Image: 818.jpg]
You know, considering the Navy's reputation, you'd think they'd want to avoid phallic homoerotic imagery. Maybe it's actually a big draw?
100% yesssssss!! both japan and canada:

I did school for a bit in japan last summer... and when WW2 came up... I had to know everything about the US, even though I'm from canada [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wallbash.gif[/img] Also, pearl harbour was kinda glossed over and the main focus was on racism against japan... with a bit on the internment of japanese people in US and canada

I was the only japanese person in my history class this year... and I had this incredibly racist teacher!! [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/bomb.gif[/img]
anyway, the teacher called me "that Japanese" for a good part of the year.... so when we would do anything about japan... he always wanted to know the "japanese perspective." In comes me, the clear authority on everything japanese, including what japan was thinking when the bombed pearl harbour...

GOD!! How could I possibly know that?!?

Anyway, whenever the teacher said anything about japan... everyone stared at me...

Now into WW2... he always made racist remarks about japan and japanese people... he tried and failed (doing a japanese accent), he got me to play "the japanese devil" in all of the presentations involving japan in WW2... and he never once mentioned the internment of japanese canadians and americans...

So to stir things up... I wrote my final essay (worth 30% of my grade) about japanese canadian internment... where he got angry at me for calling some people (who said that japanese people shouldn't be allowed into canada lest they have japanese kids and take over canada) white supremacists....

Sorry for the long rant about my history class.
Didn't Canada actually try to deport its Japanese citizens after the war?
More propaganda.
[Image: horlg.jpg]

[Image: iamanamerican.jpg]
A sign put up by a Japanese shopkeeper.

[Image: propaganda.jpg]
The response.

I can't find the advertisement for a machine gun (!) that was claimed to be ideal for "putting big red holes in little yellow men," but believe me when I say it is disheartening.
War: still hell.
[Image: enemylg.jpg]

Life Magazine helps out our boys in green by providing instructions on telling the dastardly Nips apart from our noble allies the Chinese. Can you tell the difference?
[Image: japanese_lg.jpg]
[Image: chinese_lg.jpg]
doorknobdeity: I just started watching "My Japan", so disgusting and disturbing. My dad was born shortly after WW2 ended, and he remembered that at a local amusement park there was a game called "Shoot the Gap". It was clearly originally called "Shoot the Japanese", and had a crossed out J replace with a G. In the game, you'd aim a gun at a stereotypical Japanese man who was moving back and forth, and try to shoot him.

ken: Hey, you went to school in Japan for the summer too? And that sounds HORRIBLE about your teacher in Canada. It's good that you wrote about the Japanese Canadian internment though to try to get him to have an equal view on things...I recently did a project on Japanese-American internment. Blah though seriously I'm glad someone shares my awkward pain. [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tongue.gif[/img]
Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.
On the other side of the battlelines:

"Secret of Japanese Strength"
[Image: nazijapanese_lg.jpg]

jesus christ
[Image: japrop11.jpg]

I thought this one is actually kind of clever.
[Image: japrop12.jpg]

<!--quoteo(post=218921:date=Jul 5 2009, 12:32 AM:name=ninjew)-->QUOTE(ninjew @ Jul 5 2009, 12:32 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}><!--quotec-->doorknobdeity: I just started watching "My Japan", so disgusting and disturbing.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
I could only watch halfway through. It's terrible stuff.
doorknobdiety: they did.... but then they were unsuccessful in deporting people because the war measures act ended... also, after the internment people could be scattered east of the rocky mountains or be "repatriated" to japan.

Ninjew: you didn't sound like you had that great a teacher either. [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tongue.gif[/img] You can be my awkward pain buddy. [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif[/img]
<!--quoteo-->QUOTE<!--quotec-->I just started watching "My Japan", so disgusting and disturbing.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

I'd never heard of this video, so I googled it and started watching it... It's so terrible and disturbing.
Spreading out a little bit . . .

[Image: P010398.jpg]
Chilling and effective.

[Image: PhoenixwarworkerNatalieNickersonpen.jpg]
"Phoenix war worker Natalie Nickerson penning her Navy boyfriend a thank you note for sending her a Japanese soldier's skull he gathered as a souvenir while fighting in New Guinea."
My grandfather was deployed to New Guinea.

[Image: japrop08.jpg]
He would have been the guy on the horse.

This last one might be a little nws, even though I think it should be plastered on every billboard in the nation.

Happy Fourth of July, everyone.
here's a 1942 US Army/Navy educational comic strip:

<!--quoteo(post=218932:date=Jul 5 2009, 03:15 AM:name=yamapikko)-->QUOTE(yamapikko @ Jul 5 2009, 03:15 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}><!--quotec-->here's a 1942 US Army/Navy educational comic strip:<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

....oh wow.
Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.
<!--quoteo-->QUOTE<!--quotec-->I also went to school in Japan for a few weeks one summer, and learning about WW2 there was VERY awkward as well. They hardly discussed Pearl Harbor, and only discussed racism against Japanese/the bombings. At that school, everyone freely went around calling me "gaijin" and all eyes were on me as the teacher emotionally spoke about how racist Americans were, and how the students shouldn't succumb to the same sort of discrimination by calling me "gaijin". Ahhh horrible.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Not surprised one bit by their harsh tactics because I always knew the Japanese were xenophobes, and yet some members here will defend Japanese xenophobia.
mmm since I went to School in Greece and we basically focused on Greek history (so much on anicent to early 1920s), we did a very small part on WWII. Greece joined the Allies however, somehow Greece was NEVER against Japan.... Greeks never forgotten that it was Japanese ships who helped the Greek refugees from Aisa Minor in 1922 (Smyrna now Ismir) to escape to Greece when the "Allies" of the time just stood outside the Harbor on their ships and watched ...

Also Japanese as warriors (And Greeks do respect a good warrior...) enjoyed a lot of respect and also pitty for the Bombings... so I guess I never faced any real problems...

I remember having a Greek-German co-student in my class and we were joiking that we were part of the Axis and we d join forced against the rest of the class... (ok..that was in Elementary school... maybe junior high too [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blush21.gif[/img] )

But yes.. I often wonder how would it feel to be Japanese-American in an American School..
Both of my grandfathers fought in the Pacific Theater during WW2, both in the Navy... on opposite sides, of course. When they first met, there was apparently a brief moment of tension, followed by much laughter. Neither really cared about the war - they knew it wasn't their war and that the reasons for fighting were over and done with. My grandmother was less accepting, however. She was more against my father, who was in the Air Force, since the US Air Force had destroyed her childhood home and killed her grandfather. She learned to eventually accept it.

Learning about WW2 in school, however, was a fairly neutral experience. The bombing of Pearl Harbor was, of course, discussed, but never in a way that was ZOMG TERRORISTS!!1! level of absurdity. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were treated in a dubious manner (in that whether or not it was the right thing to do is debatable, but it certainly ended the war). The Rape of Nanking and other Japanese atrocities were completely ignored, however. The internment of Japanese-Americans was briefly touched upon, but the discussion was over in about 2 minutes.

It wasn't until college that real in-depth discussions happened, but I feel like I was prepared for it. (For all his flaws, my father was very liberal and explained to us even as young children that many of the things we learn in our history books was sugar-coated. That the Americans murdered thousands and thousands of Native Americans. That the US actively got involved with foreign governments and installed despots simply because we didn't like the former leaders. That the US government has performed experiments on its own citizens. Top that off with the fact that he taught me that I didn't actually have to say the Pledge of Allegiance in school, I learned early on that skepticism is a very healthy way of loving one's country [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif[/img] okay, back on topic...)

But one thing I also learned was that just about every culture has committed some sort of atrocity at some point in history - that doesn't make it right by any means... it just means that people are infinitely capable of cruelty and paranoia (and there will always be others who are willing to manipulate that fact).

(Another side note: I thought it was rather ironically funny when there was news that Germans disliked Bush and disapproved of American's patriotism. What was middle-America's response? "Shut up, you Nazis!" "You don't live here, so what do you know?!" etc. You figure that if there is a culture out there that understands first hand how out of control nationalism can get, it would be the Germans.)
I was in school from 1962 to 1975. WWII was rarely discussed in History classes because in most cases the curriculum was always to large for the time frame. We usually got to WWI when the summer vacations began. I never had a history class from elementary to high school that got to WWII.
Matthew Ota
HapacheeseI loved reading your post...
I don't remember learning about WWII much during the elementary through high school years either. And as for my kids, WWII was covered only briefly. There was much more focus on the Revolutionary War, the American Civil War and WWI.

Farewell to Manzanar was assigned reading for my daughter's Junior English class last year. And her teacher had the class do projects related to the internment. It was a bit painful for my daughter to hear the word 'Japanese' used so openly. [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/shutup.gif[/img]
hey guys new reading assignment

Losing the War

<!--quoteo-->QUOTE<!--quotec-->This was exactly what the witnesses to the war were finding so impossible to believe. The cliche in those days was that World War I had destroyed the old romantic notions about battle -- after the slaughter in the trenches of Europe, it was said, nobody would ever again rhapsodize about the chivalry of jousting knights or the grandeur of a sword-waving cavalry charge. The reporters going out to cover World War II had prepared themselves to see battles that were mechanized, anonymous, and horrible. But they weren't prepared, not really. World War I had been a generation earlier, and the military industries of the great powers hadn't stopped their drive for innovation. The combatant nations of World War II were supplying their forces with armaments of such dramatically increased power they made those of World War I obsolete. The reporters got out into the war and discovered a scale of mass destruction so inhuman that cynicism and disillusionment seemed just as irrelevant as the sentimental pieties of the home front.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)