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Casualties of HistoryWounded Japanese Servicemen and the Second World War$
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Lee K. Pennington

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452574

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452574.001.0001

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“White-Robed Heroes” in Wartime Mass Culture

“White-Robed Heroes” in Wartime Mass Culture

(p.163) 5 “White-Robed Heroes” in Wartime Mass Culture
Casualties of History

Lee K. Pennington

Cornell University Press

This chapter analyzes the projected image of disabled veterans as icons of noble sacrifice that gained visibility in wartime Japan. Due mainly to official efforts, the Russo-Japanese War image of seemingly indolent crippled soldiers was replaced by visions of heroic disabled veterans who deserve the admiration of society. This campaign also appeared in state initiatives to rouse public support for the war effort. The Japanese state began issuing meritorious service medals to disabled veterans, while annual public events—such as the “Home Front Support Strengthening Week”—celebrated the sacrifices made by injured servicemen. The chapter also examines the images of disabled veterans that permeated popular culture. Sources for this examination include popular fiction, print culture such as posters and advertisements, feature films, and writings drawn from popular magazines and journals.

Keywords:   disabled veterans, wartime Japan, Russo-Japanese War, Home Front Support Strengthening Week, injured servicemen

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