Part of the genesis of this post was a leftover image from the "Philippine Sea" writeup. I went looking for "WW2 Imperial Navy poster" and found this:
Which I thought was perfect; ships, flags, pretty pin-up girl...there you have your basic "Join the Navy, see the world and get laid" appeal that had probably been a central feature of every recruiter's spiel since the first Sumerian sergeant told lies to a bunch of dumb hicks straight off the farm.
The thing is...one of the other images Google showed me was this one:
Wrong country, right period, but...damn. Talk about a different way of looking at the whole "guns/girls" thing.
I find it hard to believe that even in 1944 an 18-year-old Japanese kid, male or female, had instincts much different than an American teenager. Different manners and mores, yes, but the hormones? Right in there pitching. Look at a picture of a pretty girl? He's thinking "I'd like to get next to that..." (and she's probably thinking "I'd like to be that so he will want to get next to me...").
But the WAVE practically radiates sex - she's a Petty pin-up, y'think..? - as opposed to the very G-rated patriotic Japanese gal in the IJN poster. No wonder so many other cultures think we're obsessed with our genitals.
Not that I think we really are - I think ALL humans spend tons of time thinking about putting Tab A into Slot B. Americans are just more upfront about it and it seems were were seventy years ago, too.
Mind you, the Japanese appear to have made up for lost time:
And that's pretty mild compared to the whole "tentacle rape" thing.
But that's a whole 'nother story.