論文題目：Failures and Legacies of Japanese Propaganda in the Sōryokusen War of Ideas
著者：カムポアモール ゴンザーロ Ⅱ （CAMPOAMOR, Gonzalo Ⅱ）
This dissertation is an intellectual historical analysis of Japanese propaganda in the Philippines during the Pacific War. Propaganda was treated as the ideological and intellectual arm of what was termed during the Second World War as “total war” or sōryokusen in Japanese which was considered “a composite of aspects such as thought, culture, military might, economy and others.” The effects of Japanese propaganda in the Philippines were treated ideologically because various characteristics of it distinctly catered to specific social classes depending on its form and content. This ideological aspect of propaganda makes it a class-based social phenomenon within which class contradictions that took place were analyzed. Popular forms such as poster and film targeted the mass population especially those that were publicized in vernacular languages such as Tagalog and Cebuano. Those that appeared in English and which came in the form of books or pamphlets utilizing highly abstract ideas targeted the Filipino bourgeoisie, the wealthy, landed and educated class which composed the political elite and the political collaborators. At the same time, given the nature and composition of the invading forces’ propaganda mechanism, the 14th Army Propaganda Corps, Japanese propaganda was also considered a site of intellectual struggle of individual Japanese propagandists, Japanese propagandists between themselves, propagandists and higher Japanese authorities, and finally, Japanese propagandists and their Filipino target audience. Among those drafted to the country which included writers, poets, movie directors, advertisers, and copywriters was the renowned philosopher Miki Kiyoshi who would publish not only his experiences but more so his thoughts about Japanese cultural policy in the occupied Philippines.
Contrary to what may be perceived from its title, it was not the primary objective of this dissertation to determine Japanese propaganda’s failure or success. It however, demonstrated the various approaches upon which Japanese propaganda was evaluated by historians. Citing Filipino, Japanese, and American historians, the researcher had concluded that Japanese propaganda has been hastily assessed as a general failure, as though ideological and cultural weapons of warfare could be measured in the same way as in the defeat of a military. For one, none of these historians explored how members of the Filipino political elite who not only collaborated with the Japanese but also served as its popular mouthpiece perceived the validity of Japan’s cultural war. The researcher believes that it is within the Filipino collaborators where a conceptual success of propaganda, if such is really preferred, can be fairly comprehended. This dissertation, however, did not push so far as to analyze in detail the political collaborator’s rhetoric, if only to refute the dominant notion of propaganda failure. There are a number of reasons to such apprehension by the researcher. First, there is still a primary need to analyze the development of Japanese propaganda in the Philippines. One aspect which historians fail to consider in the treatment of Japanese propaganda is the role civilians played in its conceptualization and production. The idea of Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, which was the cornerstone of Japanese wartime propaganda, had its roots on the politico-regional formulations of pan-Asianism and East Asia Cooperative Community theorized by intellectuals even before the Second Sino-Japanese War. In addition, mass production and dissemination of propaganda during that war were mainly relegated to civilian advertisers, copywriters, and advertising organization personnel, who due to the marketing nature of their work adequately understood the popular sentiment. Finally, civilian cultural and intellectual workers like writers, poets, artists, movie directors, and philosophers were also mobilized to constitute the main force of various propaganda units dispatched to occupied territories.
Second, due to the language barrier, details of Japanese propaganda using primary Japanese sources must first be made available to other researchers and historians if only to provide suitable atmosphere for further academic debates. The researcher argues that such language barrier, complicated by most historians’ under-estimation of Japanese propaganda, often led them to the hasty conclusion that Japan’s wartime cultural pursuits could be generally considered a failure. It is fundamentally the Japanese language inability of past historians, i.e. Filipino and American, which led to either neglect or lack of sufficient use of Japanese materials. This, unfortunately, was how the course of Japanese propaganda history was subjectively determined by such historians.
Third, the highly conceptual nature of propaganda must first be established by analyzing the works of Japanese propagandists who played major roles in the conceptualization of the foundations of the Japanese wartime ideology as well as in its practical application through cultural policy and propaganda output. Analyzing the works of Miki Kiyoshi is of great importance for a number of reasons. In addition to him becoming the head of the planning section of the 14th Army Propaganda Corps in the third quarter of 1942, he was also considered as a major political adviser to the Japanese military government in the Philippines which gave him the opportunity to forge policy-level reforms in culture and intellect. His lifetime of academic pursuits that brought him to Europe, Manchuria, China, and finally to the Philippines during Japan’s Fifteen-Year War as well as his death in the hands of prison authorities just before the abolition of the repressive Peace Preservation Law in 1945 also makes him a significant figure in wartime intellectual history.
Fourth, there is primacy to positively resuscitate the issue of Filipino political collaboration which had been given a political death as early as 1948. This is the only way to be able to analyze the discourses of wartime political collaborators without the danger of over-estimating their real sentiments about Japanese propaganda and without the valid anxiety of academic ostracism that usually results in reviving old and dead issues.
All four above-mentioned conditions were considered as the main objectives of this dissertation and were discussed as concisely as the researcher could. The dissertation periodized Japanese propaganda annually, 1942 to 1944, by outlining its development and decline—if applicable—based on propaganda plans and recurring themes that emerged throughout the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in order to present a descriptive abstraction for other researchers to better understand its significance and development, and therefore better assess its effectiveness and its failure or success, if preferred. The cultural and intellectual orientation of the Japanese propaganda in the Philippines was also outlined by analyzing the works of Japanese wartime propagandists, especially that of Miki Kiyoshi, and their ideological implications during and immediately after the war not only on Japanese propaganda but also on the Filipinos especially the elite. In addition, another side of Miki Kiyoshi was made available to non-Japanese-speaking researchers by providing (in the dissertation’s appendix section) tentative translations of all known essays, lectures, manuscripts, and letters by him regarding the Philippines and written while or soon after he was drafted to the country. Finally, the dissertation analyzed the academic tendency to under-represent Japanese propaganda which ultimately led to the argument that the best way of assessing Japanese propaganda in the Philippines is through a meticulous study not only of its formal contents but more so of its ideological implications to those that it actually reached and had indisputably most affected, i.e. the Filipino political elite, or those that were to be considered as (political) collaborators, and the Manila and other town center populations.
The chapter “The Thought War within the Total War,” introduces the development of Japanese propaganda not only as a military entity but also as a product of civilian mobilization before and during the Second World War. The proceeding chapter “The New Philippines: Propaganda in 1942,” describes the crucial formative year of Japanese propaganda emphasizing the problems it encountered and the developments it introduced. The year was crucial for the 14th Army Propaganda Corps as its inexperienced leadership and members had to figure out propaganda resolutions to various problems produced by the occupation. Japanese propaganda during this time was marked by the extreme qualities of bringing about an air of normalcy in Manila while at the same time producing anti-enemy propaganda during the intense battles that took place in the last defensive strongholds of combined Filipino and American forces in Bataan Peninsula and the island-fortress Corregidor. The chapter entitled “Contrasting Approaches of Zonification and Independence: Anti-Guerrilla and Pacification Propaganda in 1943,” outlines the seemingly antipodal yet very much integrated propaganda campaign of anti-insurgency and independence reflecting the overall Japanese policy on the country in 1943 which led to the declaration of Philippine Independence in October. The ensuing last chapter of periodization entitled “Futility and Desperation within the Certain Victory: Propaganda in 1944,” is an illustration of what can be perceived as desperate propaganda moves by the Japanese at a time when clear strategic losses by its military were slowly piling up especially at the latter half of the year 1944.
The next two chapters focused on Miki Kiyoshi. The chapter “Miki Kiyoshi and the Japanese Intellectual Propaganda,” describes the role that Japanese intellectuals like Miki played in Japanese foreign policy in the 1930s as well as right before the outbreak of the Pacific War. Aside from introducing Miki, the chapter also delineated what the researcher believes is an underestimation of the significance of Miki’s works in Philippine wartime and intellectual history. The chapter that follows, “The Thoughts of Miki Kiyoshi,” is a summary of Miki’s ideas regarding his research on the country and thoughts borne out of his experience during his draft to the Philippines. The researcher classified four major ideas of Miki: his idea of a “modern folk theory;” his enduring emphasis on the need for not only an Asian but a Japanese forging of national character which the researcher identified as his demand for a new environment from without and within; his ideas on the Japanese “spirit” and the “Oriental character;” and lastly, his discourse on anti-Americanism. This and the chapter preceding it argued that, despite Miki’s relatively accurate opinions which is something that is uncommon to foreign intellectuals during that time, his role in the Japanese intellectual propaganda in the country is far more influential than anybody had imagined, and therefore should be better understood, evaluated, and remembered.
The final chapter of the dissertation’s body, “Japanese Propaganda and Filipino Political Collaborators,” briefly illustrated the reactions of several Filipino political elite to the propaganda of the invaders. As mentioned earlier, there is always a danger of overestimating words of the elite especially since all of them would in the postwar retract their connections to the Japanese government. This is the reason why the use of their actual words propagating Japanese policies was very much limited in this chapter. Instead, a discussion of the problems in analyzing the relation between Japanese propaganda and Filipino political collaborators was initiated. The chapter also focuses on one of the most glaring themes of Japanese war time propaganda, i.e. Philippine independence. The so-much-longed-for independence from American colonial domination was but one of the promises the Japanese Military Administration presented to the Filipinos since the occupation of Manila. It was to be hastily fulfilled in the midst of Allied tactical successes in 1943. With it came a renewed drive to discover what it meant to be an Asian and why being a Filipino mattered. This chapter aims to analyze how the promise of independence was used as propaganda and explores how the same propaganda could have reinforced a categorized level of emancipatory consciousness among at least the Filipino political collaborators.