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30 Jun 2010
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£65.00
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9780230237476
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

Asia's 'Memory Problem' is unique. Chinese, Japanese and Koreans assign great significance to their national pasts; disagreements about one another's history and commemorative practices are heated and affect diplomatic and economic relationships. Honour and shame societies teach their members to think about the past differently than do societies of dignity and guilt. In Northeast Asia, the events judged most negative reveal weakness or incompetence, and they induce shame. For this reason, the Western 'politics of regret', which include practices based on violations of dignity and a sense of collective guilt, cannot be directly generalized to Northeast Asian cultures. These cultures are, thus, privileged sites for the study of memory. In no other regional setting is the interdependence of history, commemoration and belief so significant and problematic. In no other setting is the Memory Problem so acute.


Description

Asia's 'Memory Problem' is unique. Chinese, Japanese and Koreans assign great significance to their national pasts; disagreements about one another's history and commemorative practices are heated and affect diplomatic and economic relationships. Honour and shame societies teach their members to think about the past differently than do societies of dignity and guilt. In Northeast Asia, the events judged most negative reveal weakness or incompetence, and they induce shame. For this reason, the Western 'politics of regret', which include practices based on violations of dignity and a sense of collective guilt, cannot be directly generalized to Northeast Asian cultures. These cultures are, thus, privileged sites for the study of memory. In no other regional setting is the interdependence of history, commemoration and belief so significant and problematic. In no other setting is the Memory Problem so acute.


Reviews


'A landmark volume - destined to be a classic in the expanding field of memory studies.'
- James V. Wertsch, Marshall S. Snow Professor in Arts and Sciences and Director, McDonnell International Scholars Academy, Washington University in St. Louis, USA


Contents

Introduction: Northeast Asia's Memory Problem; B.Schwartz& M.Kim
PART I: JAPAN STUDIES
The Yasukuni Conundrum: Japan's Contested Identity and Memory; M.Mochizuki
Japanese Pacifism: Problematic Reflexivity; M.Kim
Responsibility, Regret, and Nationality in Japanese Memory; K.Fukuoka& B.Schwartz
PART II: CHINA STUDIES
Political Centers, Progressive Narrative, and Cultural Trauma: Coming to Terms with the Nanjing Massacre in China, 1937-1979; X.Xu& L.Spillman
Alternative Genres, New Media, and Counter Memories of the Chinese Cultural Revolution; G.Yang
The Changing Fate of the National Anthem of China; T.Liao, G.Zhang& L.Zhang
Memory Movement and State-Society Relationship: The Chinese World War II Victims' Reparations Movement against Japan; B.Xu& G.Fine
PART III: KOREA STUDIES
Exacerbated Politics: The Legacy of Political Trauma in South Korea; D.Baker
The Chosôn Monarchy in Republican Korea, 1945-1965; C.Kim
Parallax Visions in the Dokdo-Takeshima Disputes; H.Kwon
Epilogue: Caught between Contentions and Dialogues: Historical Memories in Northeast Asia; J.J.Suh
Index


Authors


MIKYOUNG KIM is Associate Professor at the Hiroshima City University-Hiroshima Peace Institute, Japan. Before assuming her current position in 2005, she taught at Portland State University, USA, as Fulbright Visiting Professor. She served with the U.S. State Department from 2000 to 2004 in the field of public diplomacy. She has published numerous journal articles on memory, human rights and gender in Northeast Asia. Her book North Korean Human Rights Debates in East Asia is forthcoming.

BARRY SCHWARTZ is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Georgia, USA. He is the author of numerous articles, and his most recent book is Abraham Lincoln in the Post-Heroic Era: History and Memory in the Late Twentieth Century. He has addressed collective memory issues through a wide range of topics, including comparative studies involving the United States, Germany, Japan, Korea, China, and ancient and modern Israel.