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In: Journal of American-East Asian Relations

Abstract

While access to library and archival collections in mainland China remains unclear due to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic and increasing government scrutiny, past experiences in Chinese archives are still relevant for scholars going forward, in the event that the People’s Republic of China reopens the doors to these collections. In surveying the digital, print publication, and manuscript collections pertaining to the Chinese history of World War ii, this article shows how access to new kinds of sources redefined the pre-pandemic state of the field. In particular, curated volumes that emphasized perspectives from the Chinese Communist Party and leftist intellectuals gradually have given way to a more representative collection of the documentary evidence, and Taiwanese collections continue to be important to the historiography. The article begins with coverage of well-known guides and published catalogues of mainland and Taiwanese collections. It then covers some military documents that Chinese scholars occasionally have referenced. It emphasizes the richness of accessible material on the social and cultural history of the war era as part of a call to colleagues and future students to expand the scope of what is traditionally thought to be “military history.” There is ample opportunity for major interventions into our understanding of wartime China, which shaped the course of modern history overall, and major innovations in historiography that scholars usually make from the dusty reading rooms of the libraries and archives.

Open Access
In: Journal of American-East Asian Relations
Author:

Abstract

This essay introduces readers to the recent discovery of the personal papers of Grand Steward Tajima Michiji. These documents capture the post-surrender reflections of Hirohito, Japan’s Shōwa Emperor, and record him speaking on such issues as his war responsibility, as well as the culpability of prewar politicians such as Konoe Fumimaro and General Tōjō Hideki. In August 2019, Nippon Hoso Kyokai (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) (nhk) announced that it had gained privileged access to the papers. Acting on advice from scholars, it then released extracts from Tajima’s audience records. Drawing not on the Tajima papers themselves, but on what the nhk has made available, the documents demonstrate that Hirohito, after Japan’s surrender, experienced anguish and over the war and its outcome. He continued as emperor because he accepted “moral responsibility” for the war that required him to help his nation and its people endure occupation and reconstruction. This article also describes Hirohito’s postwar reflections on several issues, such as Japanese field officers and subordinates in the 1930s initiating without authorization acts of aggression, the Rape of Nanjing, and Japan’s postwar rearmament. While the Tajima papers will not resolve the ongoing debate over the emperor’s responsibility for Japan’s path of aggression before 1945, they do provide valuable insights about his role in and reaction to events before, during, and after World War ii.

Open Access
In: Journal of American-East Asian Relations
Author:

The possibility of oil reserves under the seabed of the East China Sea created competition between Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan to claim ownership of these natural resources. The dispute marked the start of international cooperation in maritime East Asia and introduced the United States into this power game due to its exploration techniques and financial power. While Taibei, Tokyo, and Seoul put sovereignty-related disputes aside in an attempt to explore resources jointly, the change in international politics in East Asia and Washington’s perception of the western Pacific rim led to the failure of cooperation. This article argues that this international power game over natural resources management epitomized the dynamic politics between the United States and its East Asian allies. The roles of sovereignty, local interests, and U.S. international security created a dynamic scenario revealing how oil reserves were never the issue, but instead the embodiment of the actual concerns of these players behind their diplomatic language. Situating the 1970s oil exploration in the context of the Cold War, this article provides a historical lens to understand the contours of the shifting geopolitical structure in maritime East Asia.

Open Access
In: Journal of American-East Asian Relations
From Eusebio Kino to Daniel Berrigan, and from colonial New England to contemporary Seattle, Jesuits have built and disrupted institutions in ways that have fundamentally shaped the Catholic Church and American society. As Catherine O’Donnell demonstrates, Jesuits in French, Spanish, and British colonies were both evangelists and agents of empire. John Carroll envisioned an American church integrated with Protestant neighbors during the early years of the republic; nineteenth-century Jesuits, many of them immigrants, rejected Carroll’s ethos and created a distinct Catholic infrastructure of schools, colleges, and allegiances. The twentieth century involved Jesuits first in American war efforts and papal critiques of modernity, and then (in accord with the leadership of John Courtney Murray and Pedro Arrupe) in a rethinking of their relationship to modernity, to other faiths, and to earthly injustice. O’Donnell’s narrative concludes with a brief discussion of Jesuits’ declining numbers, as well as their response to their slaveholding past and involvement in clerical sexual abuse.

Abstract

From Eusebio Kino to Daniel Berrigan, and from colonial New England to contemporary Seattle, Jesuits have built and disrupted institutions in ways that have fundamentally shaped the Catholic Church and American society. As Catherine O’Donnell demonstrates, Jesuits in French, Spanish, and British colonies were both evangelists and agents of empire. John Carroll envisioned an American church integrated with Protestant neighbors during the early years of the republic; nineteenth-century Jesuits, many of them immigrants, rejected Carroll’s ethos and created a distinct Catholic infrastructure of schools, colleges, and allegiances. The twentieth century involved Jesuits first in American war efforts and papal critiques of modernity, and then (in accord with the leadership of John Courtney Murray and Pedro Arrupe) in a rethinking of their relationship to modernity, to other faiths, and to earthly injustice. O’Donnell’s narrative concludes with a brief discussion of Jesuits’ declining numbers, as well as their response to their slaveholding past and involvement in clerical sexual abuse.

Open Access
In: Jesuits in the North American Colonies and the United States
In: The Citizenship Experiment  
In: The Citizenship Experiment  
In: The Citizenship Experiment  
In: The Citizenship Experiment