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War Memory And Social Politics In Japan, 1945-2005
     

War Memory And Social Politics In Japan, 1945-2005

by Franziska Seraphim
 

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Japan has long wrestled with the memories and legacies of World War II. In the aftermath of defeat, war memory developed as an integral part of particular and divergent approaches to postwar democracy. In the last six decades, the demands placed upon postwar democracy have shifted considerably-from social protest through high economic growth to Japan's relations in

Overview

Japan has long wrestled with the memories and legacies of World War II. In the aftermath of defeat, war memory developed as an integral part of particular and divergent approaches to postwar democracy. In the last six decades, the demands placed upon postwar democracy have shifted considerably-from social protest through high economic growth to Japan's relations in Asia-and the meanings of the war shifted with them.

This book unravels the political dynamics that governed the place of war memory in public life. Far from reconciling with the victims of Japanese imperialism, successive conservative administrations have left the memory of the war to representatives of special interests and citizen movements, all of whom used war memory to further their own interests.

Franziska Seraphim traces the activism of five prominent civic organizations to examine the ways in which diverse organized memories have secured legitimate niches within the public sphere. The history of these domestic conflicts-over the commemoration of the war dead, the manipulation of national symbols, the teaching of history, or the articulation of relations with China and Korea-is crucial to the current discourse about apology and reconciliation in East Asia, and provides essential context for the global debate on war memory.

Editorial Reviews

Asahi Shimbun - Kenneth J. Ruoff
With this readable and accessible book, Franziska Seraphim so demolishes the notion that the Japanese have not remembered World War II (a claim long contested by Japan specialists) that there is no longer any excuse for observers of Japan, including Western-language mass media, to claim otherwise.
Choice - W. D. Kinzley
An insightful, thoughtful treatment of the interest group politics that has been part of Japan's effort to remember and come to grips with its recent past.
Japanese Studies - Beatrice Trefalt
[S]eraphim’s contribution to our understanding of early post-war history is highly valuable...there is no doubt that this book is an important addition to the field, and one that will be useful on both undergraduate and postgraduate reading lists.
Choice

An insightful, thoughtful treatment of the interest group politics that has been part of Japan's effort to remember and come to grips with its recent past.
— W. D. Kinzley

Asahi Shimbun

With this readable and accessible book, Franziska Seraphim so demolishes the notion that the Japanese have not remembered World War II (a claim long contested by Japan specialists) that there is no longer any excuse for observers of Japan, including Western-language mass media, to claim otherwise.
— Kenneth J. Ruoff

Japanese Studies

[S]eraphim’s contribution to our understanding of early post-war history is highly valuable...there is no doubt that this book is an important addition to the field, and one that will be useful on both undergraduate and postgraduate reading lists.
— Beatrice Trefalt

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674028302
Publisher:
Harvard University Asia Center, Publiications PRG
Publication date:
03/01/2008
Series:
Harvard East Asian Monographs Series , #278
Pages:
442
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.98(d)
Age Range:
1 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Franziska Seraphim is Associate Professor of History at Boston College.

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