AMS Spring 2023

Bite Off a War Criminal’s Head: Chinese Company 3D Prints Hideki Tojo Ice Cream Treats

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t8As yesterday commemorated the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, many Chinese celebrated in some rather unique ways. While Beijing hosted a massive military parade to commemorate the historic day, a company in Shanghai, China marked the occasion on a bit of a smaller scale. Shanghai’s largest state-owned dairy enterprise, Bright Foods, and their subsidiary, Iceason, decided to do something rather creative and incredibly unique to commemorate this special day.

Using 3D printers, they created and sold ice cream popsicles depicting the head of Hideki Tojo. For those of you who aren’t history buffs, Tojo was the 40th Prime Minister of Japan and the leader of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association. He was the one responsible for the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, and following his arrest after Japan lost the war, he was convicted as an Imperial Japanese war criminal. On December 28th, 1948 Tojo was hung for his crimes.

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Naturally, the Chinese are not too fond of this man, and like other state-linked companies have done in the past, Bright Foods has used the country’s anti-Japan sentiment to hopefully garner a bit of extra attention towards their Iceason brand. The company even went as far as creating a sales poster for these 3D printed bars, telling customers to ‘Never Forget the National Tooth,’ playing off of the Chinese nationalistic slogan ‘Never Forget the National Humiliation.’ The company also has been marketing the ice cream treats with the slogan ‘10,000 people together eat the Japanese war criminal.’t4

The ice cream treats depict Tojo’s trademarked mustache and glasses quite well and are being made available in multiple flavors including blueberry, chocolate, vanilla, mango, tiramisu and mocha. The treats are priced at 30 Yuan, or about $4.70 a piece.

Tojo is a rather controversial figure both in Asia as well as the rest of the world. Some people even question if he should be labeled as a Class-A war criminal or not. Those on social media reacted to these 3D printed treats in a variety of ways, with some believing that the ad campaign is in poor ‘taste,’ while others think it’s quite a creative, yet political way of creating brand awareness.

“Doesn’t the thought of putting an evil man’s head in your mouth make you feel sick?”asked one Weibo user.
“It’s hilarious, but I have always thought that phase of history isn’t fit for consumption,” stated another.

Just how the treats were 3D printed remain a mystery, but the company certainly has looked outside the box, both from a ideological as well as technological point of view. What are your thoughts on these 3D Printed Tojo heads? Discuss in the Hideki Tojo Ice Cream forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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