If you were paying attention during history class, you’ll know all about wartime propaganda and the role it played in “motivating” people during the war effort. It seems like most countries involved got in on a piece of the propaganda action to some degree or other, withanti-Japanese propaganda being just one example.
But what do you think of this picture that has recently been uncovered showing two geisha holding their noses over a picture of former UK prime minister Winston Churchill? And what’s the joke behind it?
The idea behind the picture is that Winston Churchill shares his initials, W.C., with what’s known in the UK as the “Water Closet” or toilet. And, well, that’s it!
Japanese netizens have called the photograph, which dates from 1941, “extremely disrespectful”. It’s hard to tell whether this photograph was used for propaganda purposes or whether it was a private photograph created for purposes of amusement. Looking back on the photo out of context, it’s difficult to decide how to really feel about it. Nevertheless, these sorts of historical photographs are certainly fascinating to look at as they give us perspective into the public consciousness in other countries during the Second World War.
- The W.C., as manufactured by Thomas Crapper. Really!
- Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, British UK Prime Minister 1940-45 and 1951-1955.