The Pacific War is an umbrella term that refers collectively to a disparate set of wars, however, this book presents a strong case for considering this assemblage of conflicts as a collective, singular war. It highlights the genuine thematic commonalities in the legacies of war that cohere across the Asia-Pacific and shows how the wars, both individually and collectively, wrought dramatic change to the geo-political makeup of the region.
This book discusses the cultural, political and social implications of the Pacific War and engages with debates over the war’s impact, legacies, and continuing cultural resonances. Crucially, it examines the meanings and significance of the Second World War from a truly international perspective and the contributors present fascinating case studies that highlight the myriad of localised idiosyncrasies in how the Pacific War has been remembered and deployed in political contexts. The chapters trace the shared legacy that the individual wars had on demographics, culture and mobility across the Asia Pacific, and demonstrate how in the aftermath of the war political borders were transformed and new nation states emerged. The book also considers racial and sexual tensions which accompanied the arrival of both Allied and Axis personnel and their long lasting consequences, as well as the impact returning veterans and the war crime trials that followed the conflict had on societies in the region. In doing so, it succeeds in illuminating the events and issues that unfolded in the weeks, months, and indeed decades after the war.
This interdisciplinary volume examines the aftermaths and legacies of war for individuals, communities, and institutions across South, Southeast, and East Asia, Oceania, and the Pacific world. As such, it will be welcomed by students and scholars of Asian history, modern history and cultural history, as well as by those interested in issues of memory and commemoration.
Part I: Remembrance
- Thinking About the Pacific War Christina Twomey and Ernest Koh
- De-historicising the Second World War: Diaspora, Nation and the overseas Chinese Ernest Koh
- A Sideshow to the War in Europe: Nation, Empire and the British Commemoration of the Pacific War Janet S.K. Watson,
- Contested Memories of the Pacific War in Australia Paula Hamilton
- The Thai-Burma Railway: Aysmmetrical and Transnational Memories Joan Beaumont and Andrea Witcomb
- Unfinished business: Legal, Moral and Political Dimensions of the Class ‘B’ and ‘C’ War Crimes Trials in Asia and the Pacific Robert Cribb
- ‘The Pacific War experience of Dutch Eurasian civilians in Java, 1942-48 Joost Coté and Natsuko Akagawa
- Coercion and Consent: Being ‘Indian’ in Malaya during the Japanese Occupation John Solomon
- Revenge Killings in 1945 and their Absence from the Historical Narrative in Singapore Jason Lim
- South Seas Lore: Anthropology, Cultural Determinism and the Pacific War Sean Brawley and Chris Dixon
- Contested Medical Science: Re-examining Japanese Medicine and Filipino Adaptations in the Philippines during the Japanese Occupation Period Arnel Joven
- The "outrage" in Miri: Sex, race and violence and the Second AIF in Sarawak Elizabeth Roberts-Pedersen
- Mothers Darlings: Secrets and Silences in the Wake of the Pacific War Judith A. Bennett, Jacqueline Leckie and Angela Wanhalla
- "Eliminate the ‘females’": The New Guinea affair and medical approaches to homosexuality in the Australian Army in the Second World War Yorick Smaal and Graham Willett
- War memoirs from the shadows: Contested war experience narratives in an Occupation Era Japanese veterans’ group’ M.G. Sheftall
- The Endless Search for Dead men: Funasaka Hiroshi and fallen soldiers in post-war Japan Beatrice Trefalt,
- POWs of the Japanese in Australia, 1945-60: Testimony, Truth and Compensation Christina Twomey
Part II: Aftermaths
Part III: Race, Sex and Culture
Part IV: Veterans in the post-war world
"This book offers a useful collection of essays for scholars and students researching and studying the aftermath and memory of the Second World War in the Asia-Pacific region."
Kevin Blackburn, Nanyang Technology University, Singapore, Australian Historical Studies, 47, 2016
"The Pacific War certainly offers once-passed-by rich material for statement and test of new conceptions...With the Pacific War’s 75th anniversary soon upon us, we might look forward to more memory, more history. Lighting up fading reminiscence with new conceptions and questions, this collection of stylish essays leads the way."
Lamont Lindstrom, University of Tulsa
"Both Lim and Koh make the point that History was only re-introduced in Singapore as a standalone subject in 1984. The editors provide a brief introduction which could perhaps have developed these themes further and, at the outset, given readers a sense of the big picture and historiography on how the Pacific War has been treated up to the present."
Max Quanchi, University of Queensland