The History Issue and Historical Consciousness 2020

This is the class homepage for my postgraduate class The History Issue and Historical Consciousness. This class is conducted in person on campus with social distancing. The course is in English and is taught as part of the Master’s Program in Japan Studies and the History in the Public Sphere (HIPS) Double Degree Master’s Program.

Syllabus: 530622-日本社会研究2

2 October (Week 1): Official History

Reading Prime Minister Abe’s Statement (2015): in English, in Japanese.

9 October (Week 2): The News Media (1), Newspapers

The war in Japan’s major dailies. Look through the online editions (English or Japanese) of the major dailies. What do you notice about their war-related stances: Asahi, Yomiuri, Mainichi, Sankei (Japan Forward), Nikkei, Tokyo Shinbun.

16 October (Week 3): The News Media (2), Television

The war as seen on TV. See also the Broadcast Law (esp. Article 4).

23 October: Class Cancelled

30 October (Week 5): The News Media (3), Magazines and the Internet

Magazines, web news, Social Media etc. Let’s look at the Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact. Read this article by Aleksandra Jaworowicz-Zimny on war-related YouTube videos.

6 November (Week 6): Commemorative Events (1), The War End, 8/15

Discussing how the ‘war end’ is commemorated. Prime minister Abe’s speeches at the ceremony to commemorate the war dead in 2020 (日本語)and 2013 (日本語)and 2007. Here is the emperor’s address in 2020. Why 8/15 matters: remembering the moment of defeat, and the Northern Territories Issue.

13 November (Week 7): Commemorative Events (2), Hiroshima, 8/6

Discussing how the A-bombs are commemorated. The website of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Here is the peace declaration made by the Mayor of Hiroshima made during the ceremony on 6 August (see YouTube video below).

And a thought-provoking piece of television from 2005.

27 November (Week 8): Museums (1), Yasukuni Shrine’s Yushukan

Let’s discuss the exhibits in Yasukuni Shrine’s museum, Yushukan. Here is Yasukuni Shrine’s website. Let’s also discuss this video.

4 December (Week 9): Museums (2), Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum

Okinawan perspectives on the war. In particular, let’s focus on the Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum exhibits and testimonies of those who survived the battle.

11 December (Week 10): Museums (3), Peace Osaka

Let’s discuss the exhibits at Peace Osaka. Let’s discuss also the changes to the exhibition. Read this article: “The Nationalist Assault on Japan’s Local Peace Museums: The Conversion of Peace Osaka”.

18 December (Week 11): Films (1), Documentaries

Documentaries in cinema and on TV

Active Learning Hours Deadline, 18 December: Submit your fieldwork report.

25 December (Week 12): Films (2), Action & Entertainment

The genres of war film

8 January (Week 13): Manga & Anime

Pop culture representations of war

TBC (Make up class): Summary

Representations of War and Empire in Japan

End-of-term Report Deadline, 15 January.