The Power of Memory in Modern Japan

Due to their symbolic and iconographic meanings, expressions of ‘collective memory’ constitute the mental topography of a society and make a powerful contribution to its cultural, political and social identity. In Japan, the subject of ‘memory’ has prompted a huge response in recent years. Indeed, it has been and continues to be debated at many levels of Japan’s political, social, economic and cultural life. For the historian and social scientist the opportunity to access recorded memories is invariably welcomed as a valuable building block in research and a determinant in establishing balance and perspective. This volume brings together a selection of the most significant research on memory relating to modern Japan. Thematically structured (Politics and International Relations; Memorials, Museums, National Heroes; Popular and Intellectual Representations of Memory; Realms of Memory: Centre and Periphery) the subjects treated include the Nanjing massacre, comfort women, the fate of war monuments, the political use of national memory in post-war Japan and remembering the atomic bomb.

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Sven Saaler is an Associate Professor at the University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He is author of Politics, Memory and Public Opinion. The History Textbook Controversy and Japanese Society (2005), co-editor of Pan-Asianism in Modern Japanese History (2007) and co-author of Japanische Impressionen eines Kaiserlichen Gesandten. Karl von Eisendecher im Japan der Meiji-Zeit (2007).
Wolfgang Schwentker is Professor at the Graduate School of Human Sciences, Osaka University, where he teaches comparative social and intellectual history. Among his books are Max Weber in Japan (1998) and Die Samurai (2003). He co-edited Erinnerungskulturen. Deutschland, Italien und Japan seit 1945 (2002).
List of contributors; Note on transliteration; 1 The realms of memory: Japan and beyond; PART 1: Memory in politics and international relations; 2 For the nation or for the people? History and memory of the Nanjing Massacre in Japan; 3 Japan's 'Comfort Women' and historical memory: The neo-nationalist counter-attack; 4 Tokko Zaidan: A case study of institutional war memorialization; 5 Remembering the War Crimes Trial: The Tokyo Trial view of history; 6 Historical memory and Shiba Ryotaro: Remembering Russia, creating Japan; 7 Developing memories: Alumni newsletters in Japanese development assistance; PART 2: Institutions of memory: Memorials, museums, national heroes; 8 Remodelling public space: The fate of war monuments, 1945-48; 9 The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and its exhibition; 10 A usable past? Historical museums of the Self-Defence Forces and the construction of continuities; 11 The new image of childhood in Japan during the years 1945-49 and the construction of a Japanese collective memory; 12 Sato Eisaku, Yasuoka Masahiro and the re-establishment of 11 February as National Day: The political use of national memory in post-war Japan; 13 How did Saigo Takamori become a national hewro after his death? The political uses of Saigo's figure and the interpretation of seikanron; PART 3: Popular and intellectual representations of memory; 14 Literary memories of the Pacific War - fiction or non-fiction? Some criteria for further research on Japanese war literature; 15 The Nokorimono mode: Remembering the atomic bomb in The Diary of Moriwaki Yoko; 16 Becoming insects: Imamura Shohei and the entomology of modernity; 17 Memories of a liberal, liberalization of memory: Tsuda Sokichi and a few things he forgot to mention; PART 4: Realms of memory - centre and periphery; 18 New dimensions in Sino-Japanese relations and the memory of the Sino-Japanese War, 1894-95; 19 Development for preservation: Localizing collective memory in 1960s Kanazawa; 20 The remembrance of the 1871 Nakano Uprising in Takayama Village as a contemporary trauma in village life today; 21 History and the construction of collective memory: Positivist historiography in the age of the Imperial Rescript on Education; Index
Professional and scholarly.
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