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ERIC Number: EJ839790
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 34
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 99
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7732
The Trajectory of Perpetrators' Trauma: Mnemonic Politics around the Asia-Pacific War in Japan
Tsutsui, Kiyoteru
Social Forces, v87 n3 p1389-1422 Mar 2009
This study proposes a theoretical framework to understand how nations deal with collective memories of perpetration of severe human rights violations, which do not ft comfortably in any national master narrative but have become increasingly difficult to ignore. Building on studies of collective memory, the framework explicates how initial historical conditions of the nation, domestic social movements, and the degree of international pressures move the national discourse along two key dimensions--(1. acceptance of guilt and (2. international orientation of the discourse--which map out seven possible responses to collective trauma of perpetration. Through examination of the history of post-war Japan and content analyses of newspaper editorials and prime ministers' speeches from 1945 through 2004, the empirical analysis applies the framework to the Japanese case. The analysis reveals that arguments for apologies to Asian victims have gained ground due to the intensification of domestic social movements, international pressures from neighboring countries, and global human rights influence. It also shows that arguments that evade the ugly past have persisted because of the initial conditions immediately after 1945, overwhelming emphasis on Japanese victims in the ensuing decades, and recent appropriation of human rights language by proponents of the defensive arguments. (Contains 5 tables, 1 figure, and 10 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Asia; China; Japan