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Ticket to Armistice - Japanese leaflet dropped on Allied troops, 1942


There were many different forms of propaganda to support the war effort in Japan during World War II. Sometimes the Japanese used sexual images to influence Allied soldiers to take surrender sheets.

The leaflet above depicts a bare-chested woman in an invited pose. The bearer of the current stamp is considered "ready to surrender to the Japanese military". The Japanese army would charge itself to ensure his life on the condition that he carried this stamp to Japanese soldiers with a white flag or raised arms, carrying his rifle stock upwards.

The Japanese propaganda used against the Allied forces was intended to divert their attention from the war effort and influence them to surrender or go home. Most of the tactics used in such propaganda were sexual and depicted naked women.

Sometimes pictures of naked women were placed on ceasefire stamps to trick enemy soldiers into trying to take them. Furthermore, Naked gives the soldier an excuse to keep possession of the ticket: "This is not a surrender stamp, it is a nude photograph".

Then, the argument would be that, in a moment of high pressure, he might be more likely to break, knowing that he could just use the ticket to surrender. Other times, though, it was just for the men to remind the women they had left at home and hopefully think about sex and make them want to go home again.

Japanese text on a sheet translated into English:

Surrender ticket
The bearer of this ticker has surrendered.
It is strictly forbidden to kill (them).
Commander, Japanese Army Forces

Lieutenant Colonel Mahmoud Kan Durrani, an Australian prisoner of the Japanese, quotes a lecture given by a Japanese officer on how the leaflets should be prepared. One of his six recommendations was:

"The leaflet should, if possible, contain a picture of a beautiful woman following the method used by the Germans in World War I. This device would ensure that the soldier would be attracted and unable to resist looking at the picture over and over again. It will arouse his passion, and his heart will yearn for love and to hate to fight.” (From Sex and Psychological Operations by Herbert A. Friedman).

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