During World War II, American bombers dropped millions of leaflets over Japan to warn citizens of events such as upcoming bombings and surrender terms. Below is a collection of Japanese language leaflets from the WallBuilders library (translations from declassified military sources have been provided when found).

wwii-japanese-leaflets1 wwii-japanese-leaflets2

Translation of text on the front:

After establishing strange bases in New Guinea, the American forces made their advance to the Philippines and finally cut the supply lines which link Japan with the Southern Regions.

Translation of text on the back, in part:

…As long as these conditions continue to exist, it is impossible for Japan to reopen the sea rotes to the Southern regions. The “Treasure House of the South Seas” which was so depended upon by the military, now becomes useless. Japan can continue her war only as long as she is well supplied.

wwii-japanese-leaflets3 wwii-japanese-leaflets4

Translation of text on the back:

What good is money in the bank or in bonds? Buy articles you need now and buy articles for future use. The remaining supply is low. As a result of bombing by America, many of your stores will close their doors while others will be open only for limited periods. Buy food, clothing, and other necessities to tide you over these periods. Money will not satisfy your hunger or clothe you. Bonds will not satisfy a baby’s cry. A wise person would buy now, not save his money. The present is not a time for money. It is a period for goods.

wwii-japanese-leaflets5 wwii-japanese-leaflets7

Translation of text on the back:

In 1930, when the gumbatsu [a name for a “militarist clique” in Japan] had not yet started the war in China, you could buy the following items for 10 yen: 1) 25 sho of good rice. 2) Or, material for 8 summer kimonos. 3) Or, 4 bags of charcoal. In 1937, after the start of the China Incident, you could buy the following for 10 yen: 1) 25 sho of low grade rice. 2) Or, material for 5 summer kimonos. 3) Or, 2 bags of charcoal. Today, after waging 3 years of hopeless warfare with the world’s greatest powers, you can buy the following for 10 yen: 1) 1.2 sho of good rice on the black market. 2) Or small amount of charcoal, if you can get it. 3) Cotton material, nothing. This is what your leaders call co-prosperity.

wwii-japanese-leaflets8 wwii-japanese-leaflets9

Translation of text on the back:

Boasting that their defense was an iron wall, the militarists asserted that the Japanese Navy and Air Force would annihilate all who attacked the homeland. Today, those militarists stand powerless while the U.S. Navy and Air Force attack Japan at will and with increasing fury. It is clear that the Japanese Navy and Air Force cannot defend the homeland. It is also clear that the militarists, whose so-called defense was merely an empty word, are not worthy to be leaders. The full force of the American attack has not yet been felt. When it comes, the destruction will be pitiless and complete. The militarists cannot save Japan by their boasts, but the people can save their country by unconditional surrender.

wwii-japanese-leaflets10 wwii-japanese-leaflets11

The translation of the above leaflet is found below (right click on the image to view a larger version).





Partial translation of text on the back:

The good government considers what it can give to the people.The bad government considers what it can take away. How does this compare with the actions of the militarists?

wwii-japanese-leaflets15 wwii-japanese-leaflets16


Translation of text on the back:

Now that American forces are invading your island, your lives are in danger. Beaches will be bombed and shelled in order to weaken the Japanese Army and prepare for American troop landings. However, bombs dropped from planes and shells from battlehsips may land anywhere. Civilians who remain in coastal areas will be destroyed together with Japanese soldiers and installations used by the Japanese Army. If you value your lives, follow these instructions: 1. Stay away from all coastal areas. 2. Stay away from American parachute troops. If you make no signs of resistance, they will not harm you. 3. Wear lightcolored clothing so that you may be easily identified. 4. Send some representatives to obtain food and water from the Japanese Army. 5. Until further instructions are issued from the American forces, withdraw and seek safety. 6. Those who obey our instructions will get food, clothing and water. 7. Do not hide near your homes or join the Japanese soldiers in caves or houses. 8. Do not approach us until instruction is given. 9. Watch for later leaflets which will tell you how to avoid harm. The American troops do not want to harm you. Therefore it is your duty and to your benefit to follow these instructions.




Partial translation of text on the back:

No longer able to conceal their successive defeats, the military is attempting to put the responsibility for defense on the shoulders of the people by ordering them to fortify their homes. The call upon the people to do what the Army, Navy and Air Force are unable to do. How can civilians perform a task that was too great for the trained fighting forces…




Partial translation of text on the back:

These leaflets are being dropped to notify you that your city has been listed for destruction by our powerful air force. The bombing will begin within 72 hours.

This advance notice will give your military ample time to take the necessary defensive measure to protect you from our inevitable attack. Watch and see how powerless they are to protect you.

We give the military clique this notification of our plans because we know there is nothing they can do to stop our overwhelming power and our iron determination. We want you to see how powerless the military is to protect you.

Systematic destruction of city after city will continue as long as you blindly follow your military leaders whose blunders have placed you on the very brink of extinction. It is your responsibility to overthrow the military government now and save what is left of your beautiful country.

In the meantime; we urge all civilians to evacuate at once.







Translation of text on the front:

The Curtain has Dropped. War Starts.

Translation of text on the back:


March 9th. 300 bombers air raided Tokyo again, dropping many incendiary bombs that caused huge fire all over the city.

A few hours after those planes left,central Tokyo become a sea of fire.

This is the warning of thousands of bomber attacking the main land of Japan in the near future.

Before this attack (3/9) Feb. 16/17’s bombing of Tokyo 1200, US Airforce hit a crowded factory area. They have dropped over 200 tons of bombs to military related factory and caused a big blow to them. And they came with the same scale of an attack on power plants, hangars, and an Air plane factory.

These attacks are part of upcomimg attacks to the main land.

While these attacks are happening, US Marines landed on Iwo Jima.

Iwo Jima was a stronghold, since Feb. 19 Marines have been conducting the ferocious attacks repeatedly. They keep attacking despite casuaities and are gaining their territory, the Japanese cannot fight back any longer.

Japanese air force and navy can no longer save the 20,000 force on this island because they are surrounded by Marines.

So the time is near that U.S. force will use this island as a base for attacks against all Japanese military facilities in main land Japan.

Losing the supply lines, losing capability of protection, foretelling Japanese military clique’s downfall.

Japanese Soldiers!!!

Tokyo became the battle field and it’s a begging of many attacks on the home land.
Now is the time you need to realize how this war will end.












Translation of text on the front:

“Left on the small boat, the Army weeps”

Translation of the text on the back:

“To Japanese Officers
We are not trying to insult or deride the present condition you are in.
Rather, with our experiences on the Battle of Bataan as well as Corregidor, we can’t help but feel deep sympathy for you. At the time we didn’t have any other choices but the actions we took.
The reason is that the Japanese Navy had control of the Ses of the Philippines. Since then, the reality of the battle has turned. Who do you think has control of the sea near Japan? The supply ships were coming to you with things you needed. Where are they now? You already know our air force, navy battleships, and submarines inflicted huge damages on the Japanese fleet. Is there a ship still active? There might be a few. But have you seen any lately? The navy probably harbors them in a safe port. You are deserted on the isolated island where no supply ship can come. Well you know this reality.”