Book Announcement: Playing War: Children and the Paradoxes of Modern Militarism in Japan

Playing War
Children and the Paradoxes of Modern Militarism in Japan
Sabine Frühstück

Published by the University of California Press.

In Playing War, Sabine Frühstück makes a bold proposition: that for over a century throughout Japan and beyond, children and concepts of childhood have been appropriated as tools for decidedly unchildlike purposes: to validate, moralize, humanize, and naturalize war, and to sentimentalize peace. She argues that modern conceptions of war insist on and exploit a specific and static notion of the child: that the child, though the embodiment of vulnerability and innocence, nonetheless possesses an inherent will to war, and that this seemingly contradictory creature demonstrates what it means to be human. In examining the intersection of children/childhood with war/military, Frühstück identifies the insidious factors perpetuating this alliance, thus rethinking the very foundations of modern militarism. She interrogates how essentialist notions of both childhood and war have been productively intertwined; how assumptions about childhood and war have converged; and how children and childhood have worked as symbolic constructions and powerful rhetorical tools, particularly in the decades between the nation- and empire-building efforts of the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries up to the uneven manifestations of globalization at the beginning of the twenty-first.

Sabine Frühstück is Professor of Modern Japanese Cultural Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her publications include Colonizing Sex: Sexology and Social Control in Modern Japan and Uneasy Warriors: Gender, Memory, and Popular Culture in the Japanese Army.

About Paula

Paula lives in the vortex of academic life. She studies medieval Japanese history.
This entry was posted in announcements, culture and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s