In 12th Century Japan, Buddhist monks originated a paper drama storytelling technique called Kamishibai (紙芝居) to draw moral lessons. Kamishibai experienced a revival in the 1920s when storyteller bicyclists travelled about Japan setting up small stages to perform for children. During WWII the militaristic government transformed the medium into a propaganda tool for adults as well as children.

Unlike American propaganda that emphasized the extermination of an enemy often depicted as subhuman, Japanese wartime propaganda placed little focus on the enemy.  Wartime Kamishibai emphasized dedication to the homeland, family, service, heroism and ultimately, glorious sacrifice of one’s own life for the Emperor.