Songs of Japanese Schoolchildren during World War II - Oxford Handbooks
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date: 29 November 2015

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the songs that Japanese schoolchildren learned during World War II and their impact on children’s lives. These songs were filled with propaganda such as Japan’s superiority over other nations, the glory of dying for the country, and the joys of working in weapons factories. The study addresses questions such as: what values were these songs reinforcing? What behaviors were being encouraged? What legacy did they leave in the minds of the children who sang them, after the war had ended? Personal stories were obtained from individuals who attended elementary school during World War II. It is shown that the children who grew up during the war internalized the values promoted by these wartime songs and acted upon them as adults; they also passed it on to their own children.

Keywords: children’s songs, wartime, propaganda, Japanese, schools, school songs, musical experience

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