Title

East Asia and Cosmopolitan Memory

Publication Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date

7-2014

Abstract

This paper examines institutional underpinnings of the so-called “history problem” in East Asia, a set of controversies over how Japan should commemorate the Asia-Pacific War. I first illustrate how the history problem resulted from a collision of mutually reinforcing nationalist memories in Japan, China, and South Korea. Next, I introduce two intersecting dialectics that hold the key to explaining the trajectory and dynamics of the history problem. One is a dialectic of nationalism and cosmopolitanism as two logics of constructing collective memory, and another is a dialectic of commemoration and historiography as two modes of appropriating the past. I then argue that the recent trajectory and dynamics of the history problem points to the emergence of cosmopolitan memory, coupled with historians’ critique of nationalist memory. In conclusion, I critically assess future prospects of cosmopolitan memory and reconciliation in East Asia.

Discipline

Sociology

Research Areas

Sociology

Publication

East Asian Junior Sociologists Forum, 13 July 2014

City or Country

Yokohama, Japan

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