Visual propaganda: A symbolic anti-thesis towards Japanese occupation in Malaya (1942-1945)

  • Saiful Akram Che Cob Universiti Teknologi MARA, Puncak Alam, Bandar Puncak Alam, Kuala Selangor, Selangor, MALAYSIA
Keywords: Propaganda, Visual, New Order, Dai Nippon, Minshin Ha’aku, Senbu Kosaku


This paper aims to discuss an approach of propaganda used by the military regime of Japan (Dai Nippon), during the liberation campaign of Greater East Asia in Malaya in the timespan of 1942 to 1945. The methods used is through the impact and influence of visuals as a platform of effective indoctrination. The strategy is known as Minshin Ha’aku (winning the hearts of the people) and Senbu Kosaku (indoctrination and subduing of the people), the propaganda that attacked Western exploitation of Asia and the West lack respect of Asian peoples and culture. Hence, portrayed Japan as the liberator and leader of a newly united Asia. Freedom from White Domination, freedom from injustice and oppression. The Japanese regime, through the Department of Propaganda (Senden-Bu) is a unit that is responsible to enforce this program, through rigid censorships before it reaches the masses. Hence, this paper systematically analyses the visuals as a propaganda entity that can persuade the people of Malaya to support the New Order and its policies (Shin Chitsujo) promoted by the Japanese administration. The manifestation of visual artworks in the form of propagandistic posters, pamphlets, illustration and editorial cartoons filled the spaces of buildings, offices, schools and in prints, such as newspapers and magazines. It is clear historical records tends to describe a negative tendency towards the Japanese occupation, therefore this paper gives a new and an alternative perspective, which shows that there is support towards the occupation and its policies whereby visuals becomes its pictorial narrative.


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How to Cite
Che Cob, S. A. (2020). Visual propaganda: A symbolic anti-thesis towards Japanese occupation in Malaya (1942-1945). KUPAS SENI, 8(1), 43-53.