1st Edition

The Asia Pacific War Impact, Legacy, and Reconciliation

By Yasuko Claremont Copyright 2024
    270 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines key aspects of the Asia Pacific War (1931–1945), that was initially waged between Japan and China, before Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor drew in the U.S.-led allied forces from 1941 to 1945.

    Part I of the book examines three interlocking components, the origins of the war; its impact on combatants and civilians; and its short-term legacy, including the huge changes that took place in the postwar governance of Japan. Part II explores the ongoing impact and legacy of the war for those in postwar Japan, and later generations, particularly through the examination of the ambiguity of state-led reconciliation with Japan’s neighbors, the growth of dynamic civil reconciliation efforts, and the prominent role of the arts in peace movements. Through a people-centered approach it filters historical events through the lens of the war’s impact on individuals, who found themselves players within a larger frame of the social history of Japan and caught up in the international power dynamics of the nuclear age.

    Featuring studies of contemporary peace activism, this will be a valuable resource to students and scholars of Modern Asian and U.S. History, as well as those interested in postwar memory and reconciliation.

    General Introduction: Japan’s Peace Paradox  Part I: The Asia Pacific War  Introduction: Is There, or Was There, a So-Called Just War?  1. The Origins of the Asia Pacific War: ‘Honor, Fear, Self-Interest’  2. The Human Impact of the Asia Pacific War  3. The Legacies of the Asia Pacific War: The Atomic Bombings and Article 9  Part II: Postwar Reconciliation  Introduction: Aspects of Reconciliation  4. Reparations, Memorials and Reconciliation at the State Level  5. Citizens’ Reconciliation  6. Postwar Reconciliation through the Arts  7. Epilogue: The Rise of Citizen Power in Support of the Spirit of Article 9


    Yasuko Claremont has a PhD in Japanese literature, is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney, and was the curator of Art and Activism in the Nuclear Age, an exhibition held at the Tin Sheds Gallery at the University during April and May 2022. She is co-editor of the forthcoming book Art and Activism in the Nuclear Age: Exploring the Legacy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to be published by Routledge. Her research interests lie in the emergence of civil society in postwar Japan.