The top of the Silk Ad from two 3 Dec 1941 Honolulu newspapers turned upside down and viewed in a mirror. This was supposed to reveal the words, “Japan raid.”

Caption     The top of the Silk Ad from two 3 Dec 1941 Honolulu newspapers turned upside down and viewed in a mirror. This was supposed to reveal the words, “Japan raid.” ww2dbase
Photographer    Unknown
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Attack on Pearl Harbor   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Photos on Same Day 3 Dec 1941
Added By David Stubblebine

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
18 Aug 2017 07:29:23 PM

I don’t see it. “Japan rain” maybe, but that makes no sense. Despite all evidence to the contrary, the belief that this ad contained secret coded messages has persisted for decades, often by people who have never seen the ad. One should consider:
a) This very same ad ran in the very same newspapers one year earlier.
b) The “code” is so painfully contrived that it would be impossible for anyone to make sense out of it except in hindsight after the attack.
c) No incidents of Hawaiian residents cooperating with the Japanese on 7 Dec 1941 or the days following were ever corroborated, despite several events being investigated (not counting a couple of cases of outright spying by Japanese nationals attached to the Japanese Consulate).
d) The Japanese made such an extraordinary effort to keep their attack plans secret that it is impossible to believe they would then announce their intentions in the local newspapers to agents who did not exist, even in code.
As for the ad itself, the FBI did interview the manager of the store that placed the ad and searched his home but within weeks of the attack, they dropped the whole thing for lack of merit without even interviewing the advertisement’s graphic designer. The notion was given some encouragement more recently from a series of fictional murder mysteries called “Murder by the Yard” by D.R. Meredith that included this exact plot device in its initial volume (2000).

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