Book Announcement: The Long Defeat: Cultural Trauma, Memory, and Identity in Japan

longAkiko Hashimoto, The Long Defeat: Cultural Trauma, Memory, and Identity in Japan
Oxford University Press 2015. cloth, paperback, and eBook.
ISBN: 9780190239169 (paper)

From the publisher:

In The Long Defeat, Akiko Hashimoto explores the stakes of war memory in Japan after its catastrophic defeat in World War II, showing how and why defeat has become an indelible part of national collective life, especially in recent decades. Divisive war memories lie at the root of the contentious politics surrounding Japan’s pacifist constitution and remilitarization, and fuel the escalating frictions in East Asia known collectively as Japan’s “history problem.” Drawing on ethnography, interviews, and a wealth of popular memory data, this book identifies three preoccupations – national belonging, healing, and justice – in Japan’s discourses of defeat. Hashimoto uncovers the key war memory narratives that are shaping Japan’s choices – nationalism, pacifism, or reconciliation – for addressing the rising international tensions and finally overcoming its dark history.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1            Cultural Memory in a Fallen Nation
Chapter 2            Repairing Biographies and Aligning Family Memories
Chapter 3            Defeat Reconsidered: Heroes, Victims, & Perpetrators in the Popular Media
Chapter 4            Pedagogies of War and Peace: Teaching World War II to Children
Chapter 5            The Moral Recovery of Defeated Nations: A Global-Comparative Look

Author information

Akiko Hashimoto is emerita faculty in the Department of Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh. A cultural and comparative sociologist, her research focuses on the different ways people in post-conflict societies identify with their cultures and histories. She is currently a Visiting Professor at Portland State University and a Faculty Fellow at the Yale University Center for Cultural Sociology.

About Paula

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