“[B]y the later 1930s, [with] the increasingly severe rationing necessary to feed the military required to keep the enemy at bay, it might be expected that sweets would have quickly absented themselves from the market. In actuality, however, the situation was not so black-and-white
“With confectionery already embedded in the Japanese diet, producing companies used the war as a means to further the consumption of their product, portraying its very manufacture and purchase as acts of patriotism.
“By the time that all-out war began in China in 1937, children and young women on the home front were not thinking twice about placing soft caramel chews in comfort bags (imon bukuro) to send to the battlefront.
“… Meanwhile, back in home-front Japan, confectioney sales continued to increase through the 1930s, as did promotional advertising. In June 1938 the Meiji Confectionery Company created an advertising car, replete with supplies of chocolate and caramel, which travelled around towns playing the company song over a sound system.”
– The Historical Consumer: Consumption and Everyday Life in Japan, 1850-2000, edited by Janet Hunter & Penelope Francks, 2011
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