Could a cartoonist have created three more perfect characters than hitler, mussolini, and tojo (hirohito) ? If it is true that art imitates life, then the answer is a resounding no! In life, they were as evil as anyone could possibly be; the prototypes of evil embodied in the flesh. The way in which they spoke, acted, and conducted their lives and foreign policy disgusted and repulsed us. They were indeed, wonderfully hateable. The allied propaganda machine took this fact and ran with it. Thousands of items were generated depicting "the three stooges" in various scenes of abuse and decay. We stuffed them in toilets, blackened their eyes, urinated on their faces, painted them as skunks and rats, stuck pins in their butts, molded their likenesses into penises, chucked balls at their faces, shot our guns at their silhouettes, tried to poison them with nickels, crushed our cigarettes on their faces, rolled bowling balls at them, pre-published their last will and testaments, and the list goes on and on...

There has been much discussion about the Japanese caricature seen on anti-axis memorabilia. The controversy centers around whether that image is intended to be tojo, hirohito, or a generic Japanese soldier. Some collectors argue that it was the leaders of the axis powers that were portrayed and that tojo was not technically leader of the Japanese empire. They believe thus, in the parallel portrayal of hitler, mussolini, and hirohito. Others argue that hirohito functioned merely as a figurehead and that the venomous war monger tojo was the target of the allied propaganda machine. Still another group argues the caricature represents the entire fighting force of Imperial Japan. While the answer probably lies somewhere between, the caricature we still loved to hate.

Some collectors specialize in anti-axis memorabilia. Other collectors hoard just a smattering of items interwoven with other homefront items. Often they are the focal point of any collection. Anti-axis memorabilia is very popular, highly collectible, and valuable. It was produced in all the allied countries in one form or another. Certainly there is enough diversity to spend a lifetime collecting.

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