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Postwar Japan and the Politics of Mourning: The Meaning and the Limits of War Experiences

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Authors
Lee, Yung-jin
Issue Date
2015-10-30
Publisher
Institute for Japanese Studies, Seoul National University
Citation
Seoul Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol.1 No.1, pp. 89-113
Keywords
postwar Japanwar experiencememorycommemorationmourning
Abstract
After the 1990s, a series of intense debates developed in Japanese society regarding the memories of the Asia-Pacific War. At the center of this so-called memory war stands the fact that legitimate mourning of the large number of war victims has yet to take place. This study sheds light on the perspectives of the warexperience theorists, who advocated most strongly for how to remember and
commemorate the war dead who sacrificed their lives for the nation, and it explores their significance and limitations. For them, mourning should not be an accustomed ceremony that tries to make sense of the soldiers deaths through the composition of a story (such as sacrifice for the nation) that enables the living to put an end to the tragedy. Rather, by taking an extreme stance of refusing to mourn, they continuously criticized nationalistic mourning rituals that attempted to monumentalize the war. Essentially, this method was closer to true mourning, in that their purpose was to create communion between the dead and the living.
ISSN
2384-2849
Language
English
URI
https://hdl.handle.net/10371/94442
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Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원)Institute for Japanese Studies(일본연구소)Seoul Journal of Japanese StudiesSeoul Journal of Japanese Studies vol.1 no.1(2015)
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