1st Edition

Civil Society and Postwar Pacific Basin Reconciliation Wounds, Scars, and Healing

Edited By Yasuko Claremont Copyright 2018
    248 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    246 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    This book brings together discussions of leading aspects and repercussions of the Asia-Pacific War, which still have huge relevance today. From the development of war guilt to the vivid effect of art on bringing alive the realities of the war, it analyses a diversity of post-war issues in the Pacific Basin.

    Organised into five parts, the book begins by scrutinizing the conflicting attitudes towards Japanese post-war society and identifies the various legacies of the war. It also provides an examination of the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagaski, before studying contemporary civil society and analysing the way memories of the war have changed with time. Each of the chapters discusses the Japanese government’s inability to achieve reconciliation with its neighbours, despite the passage of over 70 years, and the denial of the atrocities committed by the Imperial Army.

    Arguing that this policy of continuous denial has triggered the rise of civil movements in Japan, this book will be useful to students and scholars of Japanese History and Japanese Studies in general.

    Introduction: From Enemy to Friend, Donald Keene

    Part 1: Conflicting Attitudes towards Imperial Japan

    1. Tracing ‘Victimizer Consciousness’: The Emergence and Development of War Guilt and Responsibility in Postwar Japan, Takashi YOSHIDA

    2. The Girl, the Flower, and the Constitution in 1945 (and 2015), Tomoko AOYAMA

    Part 2—Reconciliation in Postwar Japan, Australia, China and Taiwan

    3. ‘Reconciliation’ in Postwar History—The Need for Resolution Resulting from Japan’s Colonial Period, Aiko UTSUMI

    4. Peace in Our Region: Prisoners of War and Australia’s Relationship with Japan, 1945–1960, Christina Twomey

    5. Listening for the Sound of History: Lung Ying-tai’s Big River, Big Sea and Its Vision for Reconciliation in Taiwan and China, Conrad Bauer

    Part 3—The Aftermath of Hiroshima

    6. The Valorization of the Atomic Bomb: Blast Power over the After-Effects of Radiation, Yuko SHIBATA

    7. Experience and Hope: The Nuclear Issue and Asia through the Life of the Novelist Hayashi Kyōko, Teru SHIMAMURA

    Part 4—Establishing Civil Society

    8. Civil Resistance in Japan in Response to Political Domination, Yasuko Claremont

    9. Oda Makoto and Grassroots Citizenship Movements—Beheiren, Roman Rosenbaum

    10. Civil Society, Remembering and Un-Remembering: Two Faces of Grassroots Action in Japan, Tessa Morris-Suzuki

    Part 5—Memories Reconstructed and Reimagined

    11. War Memories Represented in Theatre: The One Day of the Year, The Floating World, The Spirits Play and Black Diggers, Keiji SAWADA

    12. Unsettling Nostalgia through Irony: Cinematic War Memory and Gender, by Rio OTOMO, Barbara Hartley, and Katsuhiko SUGANUMA

    13. Inoue Hisashi and the Tokyo Trials Trilogy, Masahito TAKAYASHIKI


    Yasuko Claremont is an honorary senior lecturer in Japanese Studies, at the University of Sydney. Her recent publications include Citizen Power: Postwar Reconciliation, written in English and Japanese (2017) and Ishibumi: a memorial to the atomic annihilation of 321 students of Hiroshima Second Middle School, translated with Roman Rosenbaum (2016).