Sunday, April 26, 2009

Patriotic Labels of British India aganist Japan in WWII

Well, this time it is a long period for sure. It's more than a month since last post. Actually, every time I selected an item to display, I was stuck with lack of information on it.

Finally, I have given up. Today's item is one of such stuff where I tried searching internet for days and through dealers/people who collect on WWII etc but failed to get any information on it. May be best way is to show it to internet community and see if someone can share any information on these.

So here it is.. Today's item is focused on patriotic labels issued by British India referring Japan during world war II. There is only one reference which talk about them which is a catalogue called "Patriotic & Propaganda of the British Commonwealth -By Clive Edwards".

The catalogue mentions the labels were printed in sheets (size unknown) with mixed slogans. They were produced with more than one background color. The design for all of these labels was common: "Japanese flag with dagger in centre" in red and black color.

I have some how acquired 3 of such labels shown below. Unfortunately, these slogans are not recorded in the catalogue.

As per catalogue all of these labels were of size 22x38 mm with perforation of 13.5 and no face values as depicted above.

The catalogue records following slogans:
- Advertising does not pay in wartime (in yellow background)
- Anything you say may reach Japan.
- Get on with your job don't talk about it (in purple background)
- Japs don't talk - its too dangerous, why do you (in purple background)
- Look around before you talk - they don't (in yellow and purple background both)
- Loose minds, Loose tongues Lose battles (in blue and purple background both)
- Only fools talk while men fight (in purple background)
- Stop or think or Talk and sink (in purple background)
- Stop that rot. Talking weakens our forces (in purple background)
- Strike enemies not friends. Practice security. (in purple background)
- Talk to strangers. Doubles dangers. (in purple background)

Catalogue also shows a sample image of such labels (forgive me for poor image. The catalogue itself was published as if it was xerox copy of images which resulted into very poor image in catalogue):

Perhaps I can add labels that I have in original list.
- They talk their heads off! ...In Japan! (in green, purple and yellow background)

Naturally, if you read slogans you can easily make out the intention of publishing such labels. The idea was to get people aware of harm of unnecessary talking during wartime. All these are kind of psychological warfare techniques which helps in war. Since they were issued referring Japan, I suspect these must have been circulated or used in China-India-Burma front.

Year of printing, usage and any other details on these labels are unknown. I will really appreciate if someone can shade some light on these.
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