Anti-Japanese sentiment in the U.S. peaked
during World War II. The government subsid-
ized the production of propaganda posters
using exaggerated stereotypes.
Anti-Japanese sentiment involves hatred,
grievance, distrust, dehumanization, intimid-
ation, fear, hostility, and/or general dislike of
the Japanese people as ethnic or national
group, Japan, Japanese culture, and/or any-
thing Japanese. Sometimes the term Japano-
phobia is also used.
Anti-Japanese sentiments range from animos-
ity towards the Japanese government’s ac-
tions and disdain for Japanese culture to ra-
cism against the Japanese people. Sentiments
of dehumanization have been fueled by the
anti-Japanese propaganda of the Allied gov-
ernments in World War II; this propaganda
was often of racially-disparaging character.
Anti-Japanese sentiment may be strongest in
China and South Korea.
In the past, anti-Japanese sentiment con-
tained innuendos of Japanese people as bar-
baric. Japan was intent to adopt Western
ways in an attempt to join the West as an in-
dustrialized imperial power. Fukuzawa Yuki-
chi’s seminal 1885 text, Leaving Asia, out-
lines the intellectual basis for modernizing
and Westernizing Japan. A lack of acceptance
of the Japanese in the West complicated in-
tegration and assimilation. One commonly
held view was that the Japanese were evolu-
Japanese culture was
viewed with suspicion and even disdain.
While passions have settled somewhat
since Japan’s defeat in World War II, tempers
continue to flare on occasion over the wide-
spread perception that the Japanese govern-
ment has made insufficient penance for their
past atrocities, or has sought to whitewash
the history of these events. Today, though
the Japanese Government has effected some
compensatory measures, anti-Japanese senti-
ment continues based on historical and na-
tionalist animosities linked to imperial Japan-
ese military aggression, especially war atro-
cities committed in the World War II era.