The Liberal Art University in Hong Kong
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Regional Peace Building: The Korean Peninsula and North-east Asia

10 June 2010, Centre for Asian Pacific Studies, Lingnan University


Remembrance and Oblivion: Reconstruction of War Memories in Japan
Kiichi Fujiwara
Professor, University of Tokyo

Abstract
Many have argued of the Japanese amnesia on the war. I will argue, however, that the atrocities of the war were not forgotten in Japan. It is more accurate to say that the memories were highly selective, choosing one experience to remember and dismissing others into oblivion. In my paper, I will argue about three discourses that emerged out of Japanese war memories, that is, Hiroshima, Nanjing, and Yasukuni. I will argue that the Hiroshima discourse, which focuses almost exclusively on civilian Japanese victim, came to be challenged by the Nanjing discourse, focusing on non-Japanese victim, and the Yasukuni discourse, which highlights the suffering of Japanese soldiers.

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