Book Announcement: Imagining Japan in Post-war East Asia: identity politics, schooling and popular culture

Imagining JapanImagining Japan in Post-war East Asia: identity politics, schooling and popular culture

Paul Morris, Naoko Shimazu and Edward Vickers, editors
(Routledge: 2013)
264 pp
ISBN: 978-0-415-71399-3

In the decades since her defeat in the Second World War, Japan has continued to loom large in the national imagination of many of her East Asian neighbours. While for many Japan still conjures up images of rampant military brutality, at different times and in different communities, alternative images of the Japanese ‘Other’ have vied for predominance – in ways that remain poorly understood, not least within Japan itself.

Imagining Japan in Postwar East Asia analyses the portrayal of Japan in East and Southeast Asia, exploring how this has changed in recent decades, and what changing images of Japan reveal about the construction of identity in these societies. It examines the role played by an imagined ‘Japan’ in the conceptualisation of national selves across the region, as mediated through a broad range of media ranging from school curricula and textbooks to film, television, literature and comics. Commencing with an extensive thematic and comparative overview, the volume features chapters focusing on Chinese societies (the mainland PRC, Hong Kong and Taiwan), Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore. These show how changes in the representation of Japan have been related to political, social and cultural
shifts within the societies of East Asia – and in particular to the ways in which these societies have imagined or constructed their own identities.

Bringing together contributors working in the fields of education, anthropology, history, sociology, political science and media studies, this interdisciplinary volume will be of interest to all students and scholars concerned with issues of identity, politics and culture in East Asian societies, and to those seeking a deeper understanding of Japan’s fraught relations with its regional neighbours.

Table of contents:


East Asian Images of Japan – an overview, Paul Morris, Naoko Shimazu and Edward Vickers

Part I: ‘Japan’ in Popular Culture and Public Propaganda

1. Beyond Mimesis: Japan and the Uses of Political Ideology in Singapore, Simon Avenell
2. Impressions of ‘Japan’ in Taiwan After 1990, Iyun Lee and Christine Han
3. Meanings of the Imagined Friends: Good Japanese in Chinese war films, Kinnia YAU Shuk-ting
4. Friend or Foe: Representations of Japan in the Print Media in the Philippines, 1940s to the Present, Karl Ian Uy Cheng Chua
5. Japan in the Public Culture of South Korea: Conflicting Images Attached to Colonial Sites, Jung-sun Nina Han

Part II: ‘Japan’ in Official Discourse

6. Changing Views of the Anti-Japanese War in Chinese High School History Textbooks, Caroline Rose
7. Reconstructing the Nation: The Role of Sino-Japanese History in Hong Kong’s Schools, Paul Morris and Edward Vickers
8. Japan’s Place in Taiwan’s Textbooks, Alisa Jones
9. Japanese Occupation in the Malaysian History Textbooks, Helen Ting
10. The Portrayal of the Japanese as an ‘Other’ in Singapore’s School
Textbook Narrative of the Japanese Occupation, Khatera Khamsi and Christine Han
11. Portrayal of Japanese Occupation in Philippine Textbooks and Filipino National Identity Formation, Mark Maca


12. The Annual Seminar of the History Teachers from China, Japan and South Korea: Achievements and Problems, Guopeng Shi

For further information:

About Paula

Paula lives in the vortex of academic life. She studies medieval Japanese history.
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