The Victim as Hero
Ideologies of Peace and National Identity in Postwar Japan
Publication Year: 2001
Published by: University of Hawai'i Press
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Librarians never receive their fair due. Among the many who have assisted in this project, it gives me great pleasure to acknowledge a few who have been particularly helpful: Emiko Moffitt of the East Asian Collection of the Hoover Institution; Naomi Kotake, also at the Hoover; Sekiko McDonald at Yale University’s Sterling Library; Zoya ...
Chapter 1 Victims, Victimizers, and Mythology
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In Japan, every one from successive prime ministers to the Communist Party has repeatedly declared [us] “the only nation ever to have been atom-bombed” (yuiitsu no hibakukoku). Putting aside for the moment the fact that they were forgetting the American soldiers who were exposed in the Nevada tests and the Pacific aboriginals of Bikini and Eniwetok, I feel that this declaration ...
Chapter 2 Leaders and Victims: Personal War Responsibility During the Occupation
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On the Shòwa emperor’s forty-fifth birthday, the day after film director Itami Mansaku wrote these words, the Supreme Command for the Allied Powers (SCAP) announced its list of twenty-eight wartime leaders to be tried as A-class war criminals by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. The trials were meant to be ...
Chapter 3 Hiroshima and Yuiitsu no hibakukoku: Atomic Victimhood in the Antinuclear Peace Movement
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The mythology of Japanese victimhood reached its purest and most universally accepted expression in the public dialogue over nuclear weapons. In the Cold War era, Hiroshima and Nagasaki came to represent an epochal shift in the technology of war engendering a conceptual disjunction between conventional and nuclear warfare ...
Chapter 4 Educating a Peace-Loving People: Narratives of War in Postwar Textbooks
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Education was an integral part of the Occupation’s efforts to reconstruct Japan and rehabilitate the Japanese as a democratic, peaceloving people. The strategy was straightforward: SCAP’s Civil Information and Education (CIE) Section eliminated courses in history, geography, and morals that inculcated ultranationalist thought; it ...
Chapter 5 “Sentimental Humanism”: The Victim in Novels and Film
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While education curricula reflect the consciously sanctioned national heritage, it is in popular culture that one typically encounters less self-consciously propagated mythologies. The psychology of war victimhood is ubiquitous in postwar antiwar literature. Since my purpose in this chapter is to illustrate victim literature, not ...
Chapter 6 Compensating Victims: The Politics of Victimhood
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At noon on August 15, 1963, people in public places across Japan observed a moment of silence for the war dead. At Hibiya Hall in Tokyo, for only the third time since independence from the U.S. Occupation eleven years earlier, the government sponsored a memorial ceremony.1 With the empress at his side, the emperor read a message ...
Chapter 7 Beyond the Postwar
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This book has traced the emergence of the ideology of Japanese war victimhood and shown how its iconography has served various interests in the first three decades since the Asia-Pacific War. As I began this study a decade ago, I thought to excavate the origins of an amnesia over Japanese war aggressions by revealing the emergence of victim consciousness as the major ...
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Publication Year: 2001