Образ «героя» в Японии во время Второй мировой войны.
Despite differences in specific historical circumstances, any war generates heroes (or kills them). These heroes and their canonical images provide examples for admiration, inspiration, imitation, and sorrow. Since such examples should be provided as soon as possible, heroes appear at the very beginning of the war, regardless of its course. Since Japan was defeated, and the war itself was officially recognized as “unfair”, the names of those people who were admired during the war were forgotten after its end. We analyze the images of heroes who were most glorified during the war. First of all, I keep my eye on the image of the hero, and not his real actions and biography, which are still the subject of discussion in many cases. However, these discussions arose in the post-war period. They remain outside my attention — just like the changes in the interpretation of the image of heroes that occurred in the post-war period. As for the synchronous perception of heroes, it was determined primarily by official versions of events, replicated in newspapers and radio broadcasts, and then picked up by publicists, writers, cinema makers, songwriters, etc. And these versions existed as immutable facts for most Japanese.
In many cases, people who committed a certain heroic act were recognized as “heroes” not immediately but after some time had passed. In such cases, the creators of the image of heroes (army leadership, propagandists) had time to think over who should be appointed to this role and what qualities of heroes should be brought to the fore. Thus, the creation of a hero cult was not a spontaneous process, but a controlled one. There is no doubt that, in wartime, there were many candidates for the role of a hero. However, for one reason or another, only a few were recognized as heroes nationwide. I will try to highlight a number of features that could affect the process of selecting a hero from a number of candidates. The contents of this set will help to understand better the nature of what is commonly called “Japanese totalitarianism”.