Authored by: Giannalberto Bendazzi

Animation: A World History

Print publication date:  November  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138854529
eBook ISBN: 9781315721057
Adobe ISBN:


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In the 1930s, Japanese militarism grew so much as to dominate national politics;2 the Fifteen Years’ War began in September 1931 with the invasion of Manchuria by the Japanese Army and, the following year, the foundation of the puppet state of Manchukuo. In 1933, the League of Nations condemned the Japanese way of acting, leading Japan to resign its membership: The population gradually entered into a sort of contrived isolation brought about by the major powers, thereby widening the ideological expansionist culture. At the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War in 1933, movie houses were forced to screen massive doses of pedagogical, documentary, and propagandist films. The Ministry of Army and especially the Ministry of Navy commissioned animated short films to be shown along with the newscasts to spread propagandist messages to younger people. With the invasion of China in July 1937, Japan started the Eastern Asian War and the ‘total war’, during which an economic restructuring to face the war effort was carried out, as well as an even stricter social authoritarianism and reorganization in policy and in political parties. People from every walk of life supported the imperialist war. As a matter of fact, since the Public Security Preservation Law had been issued and enforced in 1925, any display of class antagonism, or even non-alignment with the ideology of the ruling power coalition, was persecuted and suppressed.

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