Dr. Seuss Draws Anti-Japanese Cartoons During WWII, Then Atones with Horton Hears a Who!

seuss japan 1

Before Theodor Seuss Geisel AKA Dr. Seuss con­vinced gen­er­a­tions of chil­dren that a wock­et might just be in their pock­et, he was the chief edi­to­r­i­al car­toon­ist for the New York news­pa­per PM from 1940 to 1948. Dur­ing his tenure he cranked out some 400 car­toons that, among oth­er things, praised FDR’s poli­cies, chid­ed iso­la­tion­ists like Charles Lind­bergh and sup­port­ed civ­il rights for blacks and Jews. He also staunch­ly sup­port­ed America’s war effort.

To that end, Dr. Seuss drew many car­toons that, to today’s eyes, are breath­tak­ing­ly racist. Check out the car­toon above. It shows an arro­gant-look­ing Hitler next to a pig-nosed, slant­ed-eye car­i­ca­ture of a Japan­ese guy. The pic­ture isn’t real­ly a like­ness of either of the men respon­si­ble for the Japan­ese war effort – Emper­or Hiro­hi­to and Gen­er­al Tojo. Instead, it’s just an ugly rep­re­sen­ta­tion of a peo­ple.

In the bat­tle for home­land morale, Amer­i­can pro­pa­gan­da mak­ers depict­ed Ger­many in a very dif­fer­ent light than Japan. Ger­many was seen as a great nation gone mad. The Nazis might have been evil but there was still room for the “Good Ger­man.” Japan, on the oth­er hand, was depict­ed entire­ly as a bru­tal mono­lith; Hiro­hi­to and the guy on the street were uni­form­ly evil. Such think­ing paved the way for the U.S. Air Force fire­bomb­ing of Tokyo, where over 100,000 civil­ians died, and for its nuclear bomb­ing of Hiroshi­ma and Nagasa­ki. And it def­i­nite­ly laid the ground­work for one of the sor­ri­est chap­ters of Amer­i­can 20th cen­tu­ry his­to­ry, the uncon­sti­tu­tion­al incar­cer­a­tion of Japan­ese-Amer­i­cans.

waiting for signals

Geisel him­self was vocal­ly anti-Japan­ese dur­ing the war and had no trou­ble with round­ing up an entire pop­u­la­tion of U.S. cit­i­zens and putting them in camps.

But right now, when the Japs are plant­i­ng their hatch­ets in our skulls, it seems like a hell of a time for us to smile and war­ble: “Broth­ers!” It is a rather flab­by bat­tle cry. If we want to win, we’ve got to kill Japs, whether it depress­es John Haynes Holmes or not. We can get pal­sy-wal­sy after­ward with those that are left.

Geisel was hard­ly alone in such beliefs but it’s still dis­con­cert­ing to see ugly car­toons like these drawn in the same hand that did The Cat in the Hat.

jap alley

In 1953, Geisel vis­it­ed Japan where he met and talked with its peo­ple and wit­nessed the hor­rif­ic after­math of the bomb­ing of Hiroshi­ma. He soon start­ed to rethink his anti-Japan­ese vehe­mence. So he issued an apol­o­gy in the only way that Dr. Seuss could.

He wrote a children’s book.

Hor­ton Hears a Who!, pub­lished in 1954, is about an ele­phant that has to pro­tect a speck of dust pop­u­lat­ed by lit­tle tiny peo­ple. The book’s hope­ful, inclu­sive refrain – “A per­son is a per­son no mat­ter how small” — is about as far away as you can get from his igno­ble words about the Japan­ese a decade ear­li­er. He even ded­i­cat­ed the book to “My Great Friend, Mit­su­gi Naka­mu­ra of Kyoto, Japan.”

You can view an assort­ment of Dr. Seuss’s wartime draw­ings in gen­er­al, and his car­toons of the Japan­ese in par­tic­u­lar, at the Dr. Went to War Archive host­ed by UCSD.

via Dart­mouth

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Pri­vate Sna­fu: The World War II Pro­pa­gan­da Car­toons Cre­at­ed by Dr. Seuss, Frank Capra & Mel Blanc

New Archive Show­cas­es Dr. Seuss’s Ear­ly Work as an Adver­tis­ing Illus­tra­tor and Polit­i­cal Car­toon­ist

Fake Bob Dylan Sings Real Dr. Seuss

The Epis­te­mol­o­gy of Dr. Seuss & More Phi­los­o­phy Lessons from Great Children’s Sto­ries

Jonathan Crow is a Los Ange­les-based writer and film­mak­er whose work has appeared in Yahoo!, The Hol­ly­wood Reporter, and oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low him at @jonccrowAnd check out his blog Veep­to­pus, fea­tur­ing one new draw­ing of a vice pres­i­dent with an octo­pus on his head dai­ly. 

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Comments (47)
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  • I-RIGHT-I says:

    Walt Dis­ney too! Bad, bad men for demo­niz­ing the peo­ple who only want­ed to slaugh­ter oth­er peo­ple, and did! This arti­cle was in poor taste and the author and edi­tors exhib­it teenage under­stand­ing of WWII and how the world works. Next: How Bugs Bun­ny in drag helped shaped the homo­pho­bia of a gen­er­a­tion.

    • Darin John Hocking says:

      The fact that Japan was try­ing to rape and pil­lage Amer­i­ca does not give us the right to imprison our own cit­i­zens of Japan­ese descent. As for Dis­ney, he was a great car­toon­ist and had many good qual­i­ties as a human being, but he was also a racist SOB. he is on record as being very anti-Semit­ic and to the best of my knowl­edge they have nev­er tried to bomb us

      • I-RIGHT-I says:

        Non sequitur fal­la­cy but I’ll let it go. Ford was a Nazi sym­pa­thiz­er, Sr. Bush and Kennedy too. LBJ was as racist as they get, “the nigg**s will be vot­ing Demo­c­rat for the next 200 years” and FDR’s deci­sion to intern the Japan­ese in dur­ing WWII was the cor­rect call. nThis is the real f’ing world my boy. Your dad­dy did­n’t know either so I guess you get a pass but you’re going to find out in spades if you’re under 30. If you’re an Amer­i­can (maybe) you’d bet­ter get your shit togeth­er real­ly soon and stop all this child­ish touchy feely non­sense.

        • Darin John Hocking says:

          I am 47 my boy and I know very well how the world works. The Japan­ese were interned so that their greedy neigh­bors could get the prime prop­er­ty they owned. I am real­ly unsure how to respond to the rest of your vague, mean­ing­less bab­ble, so I will leave it at that.

          • I-RIGHT-I says:

            Yes, that’s pret­ty old to be hang­ing on to the beat up old canards of the Left and lies of the race baiters. You missed the rest because you want­ed to. I assume you’re smart enough to rec­og­nize your own fool­ish­ness thrown back at you. I’ll bet LBJ was your hero. Sor­ry about that.

          • Darin John Hocking says:

            seri­ous­ly? LBJ did some decent things almost despite him­self, but he is def­i­nite­ly not my hero. If you are call­ing me a left­ist, that must mean every­one to the right of Rea­gan but to the left of Lyn­don Larouche. You must be fun at the clan rallysn

  • I-RIGHT-I says:

    Walt Dis­ney too! Bad, bad men for demo­niz­ing the peo­ple who only want­ed to slaugh­ter oth­er peo­ple, and did! This arti­cle was in poor taste and the author and edi­tors exhib­it teenage under­stand­ing of WWII and how the world works. Next: How Bugs Bun­ny in drag helped shaped the homo­pho­bia of a gen­er­a­tion.

  • Fee-fi-fo-fum says:

    Ogden Nashn nnThe Japan­ese (1938)n nnHow cour­te­ous is the Japanese;nn He always says, u201cExcuse it, please.u201dnn He climbs into his neighboru2019s garden,nn And smiles, and says, u201cI beg your pardonu201d;nn He bows and grins a friend­ly grin,nn And calls his hun­gry fam­i­ly in;nn He grins, and bows a friend­ly bow;nn u201cSo sor­ry, this my gar­den now.u201d

  • Playtrombone64 says:

    It’s human behav­ior to demo­nize the ene­my in times of war. Were the char­ac­ter­i­za­tions of the Japan­ese accu­rate or fair? Of course not, but Amer­i­cans were fight­ing a peo­ple who had decid­ed to try to rule a large por­tion of the world and the emo­tion­al response led to these kinds of images.

  • LazyGepid says:

    We only (pre­tend) to take offense at this because we won the war.

  • Ronny says:

    Well done to Dr Seuss for being open to a new under­stand­ing and mak­ing amends.

  • candomarty says:

    “The pic­ture isnu2019t real­ly a like­ness of either of the men respon­si­ble for the Japan­ese war effort u2013 Emper­or Hiro­hi­to and Gen­er­al Tojo. Instead, itu2019s just an ugly rep­re­sen­ta­tion of a peo­ple.” Well, wrong on both counts; it real­ly does look a lot like Hitler and Tojo [for some rea­son the author added in Hiro­hi­to although he’s not in the car­toon, and Hitler (as he men­tioned in the pre­vi­ous sen­tence, is–but hey, why edit?)] and are any­thing BUT gener­ic. Just because you’re try­ing to push a point does­n’t make it OK to change real­i­ty to your pref­er­ence.

  • Steve Bshaw says:

    So amus­ing to read the moral out­rage of jour­nal­ists sep­a­rat­ed from the hor­rors of WWII by 70 years. Per­haps you should poll the WWII vets who went through the Bataan Death March, were POWs of the Japan­ese, the Chi­nese and Fil­ipinos who suf­fered under the Japan­ese occu­pa­tions as much as the Jews did under the Nazis…perhaps you should ask them how “offen­sive” these char­ac­ter­i­za­tions are.

    • Kilroy Was Here says:

      I have Steve and you are VERY right. Also the Japan­ese dur­ing WWII were MUCH more racist than we ever were!

  • dee anne moore says:

    I remem­ber sell­ing war bonds in the first grade 1946..the world had just closed a chap­ter that would for­ev­er be known as WWII..I had recent­ly accom­pa­nied my fam­i­ly to Union Sta­tion in Indi­anapo­lis where we await­ed the train that car­ried my uncle home… I remem­ber first hear­ing the shriek­ing of my mom,aunts and grand­par­ents who spot­ted him com­ing before I could see above the adults. He had been sta­tioned on an air­craft repair car­ri­er in the pacif­ic. He told us of a ship­mate who was on a deck gun…who was killed when a Japan­ese plane crashed near the deck of the ship..I new lit­tle about the rea­sons for the war and less about the peo­ple who were behind the rea­sons. I learned to read ear­ly and after a few years, my fam­i­ly had pur­chased a series of books that were about the war…published, I think, by Col­lier’s …The books had many pho­tos that war cor­re­spon­dents and oth­ers had taken…One pho­to was indeli­bly etched in my mind…a chub­by baby, face wet with tears, mouth wide, cry­ing. Alone, the baby sat in the midst of rub­ble and noth­ing­ness that was the after­math of the atom­ic bomb in Hiroshi­ma …a nuclear bomb that my coun­try had dropped on thou­sands of civilians…men, women and chil­dren. The dev­as­ta­tion was pal­pa­ble. As years have passed and I have wit­nessed the incred­i­ble destruc­tion and killing that men all over the world are able to rain upon their fel­low human human beings… I know that reli­gion plays a very large part in how active­ly a cul­ture accepts being the aggres­sor towards their neigh­bors. What is clear is there are three cur­rent­ly that jus­ti­fy any vio­lence that their fol­low­ers choose to ini­ti­ate. The irony is, that the three are actu­al­ly one snake with three heads…Judaism, Chris­tian­i­ty and Islam. Cur­rent­ly, Islam is seen as the most violent..but it real­ly is just the most raw. The oth­er two are more able to ‘san­i­tize’ their actions, mak­ing them appear less ‘bar­bar­ic’… Grand­moth­ers spun the chick­en by it’s head, twist­ing the neck before pluck­ing it clean of feath­ers …and mov­ing it through the process that put it on the table for con­sump­tion. We are “civ­i­lized” now …we let the process be done in an even less humane way (grand­moth­er’s chick­ens had a rel­a­tive­ly good life pri­or to the fate­ful moment). Today’s process, san­i­tized for our sen­si­bil­i­ties, is hor­rif­ic and brutal..and the life of the chick­ens are worse than the death that awaits them. We, who select the well pack­aged, clean and ready for pot offer­ing in the meat depart­ment of the super­mar­ket ..con­vince our­selves that we are not barbaric..that we are more civ­i­lized. War is like that. We have learned how to do our killing away from our backyards…out of sight…so that we do not lose a beat in our dai­ly lives. We are dis­turbed when we are remind­ed by a leg­less young man in a wheelchair…or one who has just tak­en their own life out of total des­per­a­tion.. We do no good or pro­vide no hope for the future by liv­ing in denial and claim­ing that we are the ‘good’ guys and the oth­er peo­ple are the ‘bad’ ones. The three Abra­ham­ic beliefs are con­structs of men..and are eas­i­ly manip­u­lat­ed to fit what­ev­er is desired to be qual­i­fied and val­i­dat­ed as ‘accept­able’… There is no ‘good’ belief.. There are humans who are humane and com­pas­sion­ate and do not rely on the adage, ‘well they did it’, or, ‘they are worse’… rather they rely on their own inner com­pass that seeks to find the good apples in the bar­rel …and even when there is a bad one, do not throw the oth­ers out with it. We will only sur­vive on this plan­et if we can con­tain and man­age our pri­mal instincts…as hair­less apes..chimpanzees who are war­like by nature …Reli­gions are dou­ble edged swords …Kali…“goddess” who is at one…the good and the bad..destroyer…restorer.. If we need myths, we should choose the ones that are more hon­est about their worth…and not the ones that give total con­trol over all…with a dis­claimer in the fine print.. (can do these things under cer­tain cir­cum­stances ..no refunds giv­en)

  • Lee says:

    Well, how many US cit­i­zens did­n’t hold racist views of the Japan­ese at the time? Just watch car­toons from the era: they con­tain some of the nas­ti­est depic­tions of the Japan­ese (and they weren’t much bet­ter when it came to oth­er non-white eth­nic­i­ties).

    Dr. Seuss deserves cred­it for hav­ing a change of heart lat­er on. It’s too bad that the US went on to have politi­cians like Strom Thur­mond, Jesse Helms, Trent Lott, Jan Brew­er, Dov Hikind, not to men­tion enter­tain­ers like Mel “the Jews start­ed all the wars” Gib­son.

  • Hypestyle says:

    The racial ven­om in the car­toons is inex­cus­able, regard­less of the war con­text. Same things goes for the car­toons he drew mock­ing Africans and black Amer­i­cans. Mr. Geisel/Seuss deserves his kudos for his chil­dren’s books, but these ear­ly works can­not be sim­ply erased, and they are not above cri­tique just because he is a “beloved” chil­dren’s book author.

  • Calistyle910 says:

    His ear­li­er work is deplorable. But he turned it around and isn’t that what we want from peo­ple who espouse racist views? We want them to change? And instead of applaud­ing that, I’m read­ing com­ments mak­ing excus­es for the ear­li­er work and say­ing “Well, THEY were more racist than US, so there!” It’s just sil­ly. The point of the arti­cle was to show peo­ple can change, and Dr. Seuss did, for the bet­ter, for which I am grate­ful. We as a soci­ety should be able to for­give some­one who made amends.

  • jaydeebee says:

    I’ve kept this tab open for hours just to keep com­ing back to this excel­lent com­ment. Well-stat­ed.

  • Paula E Boothe says:

    I total­ly agree;America is not hon­or­ing it mantra its doing the exact oppisite. How dare we tell the world such a bold face lie. Look how MEAN we are to each oth­er.… The World is watch­ing; The youths are say­ing you guy’s are effed up!

  • Me says:

    Blah blah blah. The Japan­ese Intern­ment was spear­head­ed by racism and hys­te­ria brought on by the attack on Pearl Har­bor. It was a shame­ful chap­ter of Amer­i­can his­to­ry in bla­tant vio­la­tion of the laws that gov­ern the Unit­ed States. To say oth­er­wise at this late date with decades of hind­sight to exam­ine the sit­u­a­tion is the pathet­ic delu­sions of a racist hid­ing in their own lit­tle warped ver­sion of his­to­ry. If I‑Right‑I insists on liv­ing with that view, that’s his (or her) deci­sion. But it isn’t the writ­ers or edi­tors demon­strat­ing a fool­ish under­stand­ing of WW2 or how the real world works.

  • FacistJap says:

    You are absolute­ly right Steve. It is dis­turb­ing how our Coun­try shoves the crimes of the Japan­ese against human­i­ty under the car­pet to fund our own Agen­da against Chi­na and Rus­sia by using the Japan­ese and South Kore­ans as a pawn.

  • EnemyTortoise15 says:

    Has any­one heard of the Niihau Inci­dent?!

    Three Japan­ese Amer­i­cans, Ish­mat­su Shin­tani, Yoshio Hara­da and Irene Hara­da, almost with­out thought, helped a crashed Japan­ese Pilot escape a guard of a few Native men, col­lect weapons and tak­ing hostages.

    After crash­ing his plane dur­ing the attack on Pearl Har­bor Japan­ese pilot, Shigenori Nishikaichi, came cap­tive to Haw­ila Kale­o­hano, who did­n’t know about Pearl Har­bor just yet, but did know the rela­tions between Japan and the US. They treat­ed him fair, but took his equip­ment.

    Japan­ese-born Ishi­mat­su Shin­tani trans­lat­ed when need­ed and Nishikaichi was able to tell Shin­tani about the recent attack on Pearl Har­bor with­out the Natives know­ing.
    After­wards the Haradas allowed Nishikaichi to stay with them.
    On Decem­ber 12 Shin­tani offered Kale­o­hano $200 in exchange for Nishikaichis papers.
    After being denied, Nishikaichi and Yoshio slow­ly took out guards while his wife Irene played music to cov­er the noise.
    After omit­ting plent­ly of the sto­ry, the next day Ben Kana­hele and his wife Ella Kana­hele, oth­er Hawai­ian Natives, had been tak­en cap­tive. After some frus­tra­tion, Nishikaichi got flus­tered, which is when Kana­hele and his wife leapt at Nishikaichi while hand­ing Hara­da a shot­gun. Nishikaichi pulled his pis­tol while Hara­da held Ella away, Nishikaichi shot Ben 3 times. Despite his wounds he was able to stand and smash Nishikaichi into a wall. Ella con­tin­ued to bash his head in with a rock while Ben slit his through. Imme­di­ate­ly fol­low­ing the death of Nishikaichi, Hara­da turned the shot­gun on him­self killing him­self.
    Despite their crimes, Irene Hara­da spent 31 months impris­oned while Ishi­mat­su Shin­tani was sent to the Intern­ment camp with his fam­i­ly, where he attained a cit­i­zen­ship in 1960.
    The behav­ior of Shin­tani and Haradas were includ­ed and direct­ly influ­enced the deci­sion for intern­ment camps.
    The argu­ment was that if 2 Japan­ese women like them, hold­ing no loy­al­ties to any­one could rapid­ly choose the Japan­ese, why not again? This hap­pened Before war was declared too. These 3 Japan­ese did­n’t real­ly leave many choic­es.

  • EnemyTortoise15 says:

    THREE WORDS, The Niihau Inci­dent.
    I just explained the whole inci­dent, but the page did­n’t save it, I don’t think, so type “Niihau Inci­dent” in your search engine. You’ll only have to read a small amount of it to under­stand why there was fear for a “Fifth Col­umn.”
    This event, in my opin­ion, not only makes the draw­ing of the “Hon­or­able Fifth Col­umn” paint­ing very appro­pri­ate, but accu­rate as well.
    War had not even been declared yet, it was the attack on Pearl Har­bor when an Impe­r­i­al Japan­ese Pilot crashed on Niihau Island in Hawaii, where is was held by Native Hawai­ians. Only 3 Japan­ese-Amer­i­can peo­ple lived on the island. One born in Japan, Ishi­mat­su Shin­tani, and two who were Hawai­ian born Japan­ese Amer­i­cans, Yoshio and Irene Hara­da. All 3 imme­di­ate­ly start­ed to help him escape. Shin­tani tried via bribery, when that failed Yoshio resort­ed to vio­lence, even shoot­ing his neigh­bor of years, 3 times then killing him­self when the pilot was killed attempt­ing to shoot his way out.

    The rapid deci­sion to help Japan despite no sign of being loy­al­ty to them, was a major fac­tor in the deci­sion for intern­ment camps, if it was­n’t the main one. 2 even being born cit­i­zens.

  • Clifford says:

    The great­est gen­er­a­tion? What a pile of garbage.

  • Jack Sprt says:

    Only peo­ple with COMPLETE IGNORANCE of Japan in the late 20’s til The Bombs could masked the state­ment Suess was racist.

    Japan­ese com­mit­ted MULTIPLE geno­cides of com­plete cul­tures…

    Rape of Nanking

    Tor­tured, raped and anni­hi­lat­ed the human race all across Asia com­mit­ting attroc­i­tirs they were PROUD of. YouTube Rape of Nanking if google has­n’t already wiped out their own records of their crimes against the world.

    If you aren’t famil­iar with the Hawai­ian web­site site that cat­a­logs geno­cide, you need to look for it.

    Esti­mates range from 8–12 MILLION peo­ple wiped off the face of the earth by the Japan­ese.

    It was­n’t about oil or the islands phys­i­cal needs. Mur­der­ing pos­si­bly 12 mil­lion peo­ple, doing unspeak­able acts before killing them was an ide­ol­o­gy of one of the most xeno­pho­bic peo­ple on earth.


    The Japan­ese raped, muti­lat­ed, tor­tured and killed ALMOST TWICE the num­ber of human beings for racist rea­sons than Hitler did.

  • John Hutchinson says:

    Con­text is so impor­tant in this debate. No one in any of the Allied coun­tries who lived through WWII would point a fin­ger of shame at the anti-Axis pro­pa­gan­da car­toons of the time. Those who were not “there” should be care­ful how they weigh in with their sanc­ti­mo­nious opin­ions.

  • Amigo Kandu says:

    Dur­ing WWII, the Japan­ese Army occu­pied Guam & Saipan Islands with bru­tal­i­ty that would make ISIS of today proud.
    I lived on Guam in 1970’s. A native Chamor­ro woman who sur­vived the WWII hor­ror described one event:

    “I the Japan­ese took sev­er­al women from our vil­lage, and a few young girls includ­ing me. We were marched into a cave, and told to wait.

    A grenade was thrown into the cave and blew up. Some were hit, the women shield­ed us girls. Then bul­lets came in, and more grenades.

    The bod­ies fell on top of me. Japan­ese came into the cave, stab­bing the bod­ies, miss­ing me on the bot­tom of the pile.

    I wait­ed for them to leave, then pulled myself free from the bod­ies. I went back to my vil­lage to report the deaths of the oth­ers. I was 6 years old.” (Mrs. Rosa Gar­ri­do)

    Guam Lib­er­a­tion Day (1941) is still cel­e­brat­ed, though most of that gen­er­a­tion has now passed.

    Google Japan­ese Hell Ships also.

    The two Atom­ic bombs dropped at Hiroshi­ma and Nagasa­ki were effec­tive to stop the fanat­ic mad­ness of the Japan­ese war machine, we can­not be sor­ry for that, they just would not give up, ever.

    What a shame, the Japan­ese farm­ers in Cal­i­for­nia had made great strides in “truck crops” and were respect­ed. After WWII, many fam­i­lies did lose valu­able farm land.

  • EquitableEquine says:

    No-one is born racist– “You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear,” as the song from “South Pacif­ic” says. Look at near­ly any cul­ture in his­to­ry and you’ll find evi­dence of racism, big­otry, even geno­cide, because peo­ple are peo­ple and some­times our fears of ‘the oth­er’ are irra­tional and we can find all kinds of rea­sons for jus­ti­fy­ing treat­ing them bad­ly.

    We can unlearn our hatreds and fears but we have first of all to rec­og­nize how irra­tional they are. We have to stop dehu­man­iz­ing peo­ple whose cul­tures we don’t under­stand and teach chil­dren what Dr. Seuss taught: “A per­son­’s a per­son no mat­ter how small.”

  • AP says:

    Wow. A voice of rea­son. Thank you.

  • Valerie Finnigan says:

    That was not a car­i­ca­ture of mis­cel­la­neous Asian stereo­type A. That was a car­i­ca­ture of Tojo. Note the mus­tache, hair­line, glass­es, and the sub­tle nod to his Samu­rai class sta­tus.

    Note also that the Hitler car­i­ca­ture is not an exact like­ness, either, but a car­i­ca­ture.

    This par­tic­u­lar car­toon is only “racist” to peo­ple who think all Asians look alike. And that belief is racist.

  • Benji Vulao says:

    While that might be true, he then pro­ceed­ed

  • Benji Vulao says:

    (In try­ing to research the pub­lish dates of Suess’s above works [both 1942] to see if “pro­ceed­ed” was accu­rate I inad­ver­tant­ly hit the sub­mit but­ton. Any­how..)

    While that might be true, he ALSO, cre­at­ed that sec­ond piece in which every­one looks..

    1) alike
    2) like his “car­i­ca­ture” of Tojo

  • Jellyontoast says:

    So why then do so many white peo­ple demo­nize black peo­ple and native peo­ple for being upset with how they were treat­ed by white peo­ple. If it’s ok for white amer­i­cans to be upset with the ones they’re fight­ing why is it then not ok for oth­er groups fight­ing them to be equal­ly as upset.

  • LegendofMe101 says:

    These com­ments are absolute­ly cringe to read. G

  • Scott says:

    You are mis­in­formed and pub­lish­ing bla­tant lies, while I don’t agree with doing these things to an entire group of ppl you have left out key facts to paint a false pic­ture. The bomb­ing of Tokyo and nuclear bomb­ing of Hiroshi­ma was lead up to by the mas­sacre of hun­dreds and thou­sands of US troops by the Japan­ese at Pearl Har­bor, if your going to report such things as you have here have enough respect for truth and for the lives of US vet­er­ans lost to actu­al­ly get the facts right.

  • tony uminski says:

    When the Japan­ese Empe­r­i­al Army land­ed on your shore in the morn­ing, it was going to be a very bad day. If you look at a map of the Pacif­ic from 1942–43, all you see is red on which lands the Japan­ese had con­quered. Of course, they met lit­tle resistence. Peo­ple on New Guinea had no weapons…nore the Phillipines…nor Indonesia…even the Chi­nese will ill equipped to deter Japan­ese impe­ri­al­ism. And the sol­diers were absolute­ly bru­tal. Mass killings, rap­ing women and chil­dren … as men­tioned before, look at what hap­pened at the Chi­nese cap­i­tal at the time, Nanking. Tru­man warned the Japan­ese lead­er­ship at Pots­dam there was a new weapon com­ing. We actu­al­ly killed more Japan­ese cit­i­zens the months before in the bomb­ing of Tokyo. We sent out leaflets to civil­ians. We warned them again. Bomb went off on Hiroshi­ma. Hun­dreds wiped out. Did the Japan­ese lead­er­ship sur­ren­der? NO! We told them there was anoth­er one…they did not fold. Nagasa­ki is total­ly on Hirohito…he saw what hap­pened in Hiroshi­ma, yet he allowed Nagasa­ki to hap­pen. They final­ly quit…but even then, there were fac­tions in the Japan­ese hier­ar­chy who did not want to sur­ren­der. if we invad­ed, a mil­lion US ser­vice­men would die. Japan­ese civil­ians would have killed Amer­i­cans, who their gov­ern­ment told them Amer­i­can sol­diers would eat their babies if they came into their vil­lage. How could Tru­man look a wife and moth­er in the eye at the funer­al of her hus­band, who died on the beach­es of Japan, ‘I could have stopped the inva­sion, but I did­n’t use the bomb.’ His job was to pro­tect AMERICAN lives. What the Japan­ese Empe­r­i­al Army did in Oki­nawa — falling on their swords rather than sur­ren­der and demand­ing women and chil­dren do the same — was a pre­cur­sor of what would happen…and, btw, both Hiroshi­ma and Nagasa­ki were select­ed tar­gets based on their war-mak­ing plants and indus­try. Am I sad 400,000 Japan­ese cit­i­zens died in the A‑bomb events…you bet. But if it saved a mil­lion Amer­i­can lives, and brought the war to an end, Mr Tru­man has noth­ing to apol­o­gize for.

  • tony uminski says:

    don’t know how to edit this — but it should read: hun­dreds of thou­sands wiped out…not hun­dreds. sor­ry.

  • Gato says:

    Dun­no why I’m fight­ing the trolls, maybe for the author’s sake. But the point of this is that GEISEL HIMSELF changed his opin­ion once he met Japan­ese peo­ple. So the per­son you should be angry at is Dr. Seuss not the writer of this arti­cle …

  • Chris says:

    isn’t it fun­ny how democ­rats ral­lied behind and sup­port­ed the late sen­a­tor Byrd despite his affil­i­a­tion with the KKK, yet they can’t get over Dr Seuss? Even when the author made amends and atoned for his past car­toons dur­ing the war his books would ulti­mate­ly be can­celed decades lat­er. sure­ly this is exhib­it A in deranged dou­ble stan­dard men­tal­i­ty at work in the left in this coun­try.

  • John says:

    This arti­cle is com­plete bs. First, the Japan­ese were depict­ed the way they were because they made no attempt to hide the the atroc­i­ties they com­mit­ted in Chi­na, the pacif­ic and Bur­ma. It was open­ly required as part of their bushi­do Code. Sec­ond, an equal num­ber of Ger­man Amer­i­cans were interned as well, and many had been interned dur­ing ww1 as well so quit mak­ing this a race issue. Third, fire­bomb­ing in Japan was done because Japan used wood as a pri­ma­ry build­ing source as opposed to stone and con­crete in Europe. Fire­bombs were more effec­tive then HE and plus the war effort was geared towards Ger­many and Europe with Japan being an after thought so much of the ordi­nance in the pacif­ic was left over or deemed not as effec­tive to use in Europe. Also, 3.5 to 5 times more Ger­man civil­ians were killed in allied air raids than in Japan. Last, the atom­ic bombs were intend­ed for Ger­many. Sev­er­al Ger­man cities had been pre­s­e­lect­ed as tar­gets but Ger­many sur­ren­dered before the bombs were ready. Japan was the only axis coun­try left and peo­ple were grow­ing weary of the war. We had to find away to avoid a cost­ly inva­sion of the home islands which could have wiped the Japan­ese race entire­ly off the face of the plan­et based off of their will­ing­ness to die for the emper­or and see­ing how Japan­ese civil­ians react­ed in Oki­nawa and Saipan. And with mil­lions of occu­pied peo­ple and POWs still being held and tor­tured by the Japan­ese mil­i­tary, a pro­tract­ed embar­go or nego­ti­a­tion peri­od wasn’t an option either.

  • paul bo yi lin says:


  • someone on the internet says:

    This shit is hilar­i­ous. It’s fun­ny to see a bunch of peo­ple fight­ing over their views. I won’t say my views on the top­ic, since I don’t need some­one to pick a fight with me and to form an inter­net debate rival­ry, since I’m not des­per­ate for human inter­ac­tion.

  • Tom says:

    What’s your point? If I want to engage in pre­sen­tism, I can look back through­out his­to­ry and find rea­sons to demo­nize any­one who exist­ed in anoth­er time or era. Please go back in time your­self and live through that peri­od hav­ing friends and loved ones tor­tured and killed. Or bet­ter yet, fight in the Pacif­ic the­ater then come back and write the same arti­cle. Oh wait, you can’t so its real easy to look back in time with a 2020 cul­tur­al lens and con­demn peo­ple.

    Live and Let live
    Treat oth­ers as you want to be treat­ed
    You nev­er lift your­self up by push­ing oth­ers down.

  • WHS says:

    Um, the man in the top car­toon next to Hitler is indeed Tojo. The round glass­es give it away. But even if he was just “a pig-nosed, slant­ed-eye car­i­ca­ture of a Japan­ese guy”, so what? If there’s one time it’s per­mis­si­ble to indulge in racial stereo­typ­ing, it’s when your coun­try is at war, a war that your ene­my brought upon you with the sav­age unpro­voked attack on Pearl Har­bor, an utter­ly bar­bar­ic ene­my that thought noth­ing of treat­ing its pris­on­ers of war as slaves. Try­ing to go around see­ing if you can enforce 2010s val­ues on a coun­try at war in 1942 seems the most stu­pid thing imag­in­able.

  • WHS says:

    The racial ven­om is com­plete­ly excus­able, *because* of the war con­text. We would cer­tain­ly not draw car­toons like this now. But in the con­text of 1942 it is absolute­ly and total­ly excus­able.

  • K.L. says:

    I love how that fake LBJ quote and Robert Byrd were men­tioned for no appar­ent rea­son by the right-wingers in the com­ments fur­ther above LOL. Still mad the neeeeeeeeeee­groes aren’t pick­ing cot­ton on Dinesh’s plan­ta­tion with Clarence “High-Tech Lynch­ing” Thomas?

    As for the ear­ly Geisel car­toons in ques­tion, yes, they are pret­ty bad. The fact they exist­ed was already known to any­one who did a basic Wikipedia glance cir­ca 2006, so the sup­posed back­lash of recent years seems more than a bit forced. I don’t agree with the notion of some com­ments that the war “jus­ti­fies” these car­toons, but it seems a bit rich to “can­cel” a man who died in 1991 over it when hatred of Arabs and Mus­lims are still aggres­sive­ly pushed by the main­stream media. Geisel is best asso­ci­at­ed with his post­war works in any case.

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