Seaton 2007 Memories

Title Information

Author: Philip A. Seaton

Title: Japan's Contested War Memories

Subtitle: The 'memory rifts' in historical consciousness of World War II

Place: London and New York

Publisher: Routledge

Year: 2007

Pages: 272pp.

Series: Routledge Contemporary Japan Series

ISBN-10: 0415399157 (hbk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-10: 0203963741 (ebk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

ISBN-13: 9780415399159 (hbk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9780203963746 (ebk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century | Japanese History | Types: "Comfort Women", Wartime Rape / Asia-Pacific War

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Additional Information

Author: Philip Seaton, Modern Japanese Studies Program, Hokkaido UniversityAuthor's Website,


  List of illustrations (p. viii)
  Acknowledgements (p. ix)
  Notes on text (p. x)
  List of abbreviations and glossary (p. xi)
  Introduction (p. 1)
  1 Historical consciousness in contemporary Japan (p. 9)
  2 The 'long postwar' (p. 33)
  3 'Addressing the past' (p. 57)
  4 The war as a current affairs issue (p. 75)
  5 August commemorations (p. 95)
  6 History and ideology (p. 118)
  7 War stories (p. 136)
  8 Regional memories (p. 153)
  9 War and the family (p. 169)
  Epilogue: beyond the sixtieth anniversary (p. 184)
  Appendix: critiques of orthodox arguments (p. 189)
  Notes (p. 203)
  Bibliography (p. 207)
  Index (p. 220)


»Japan's Contested War Memories is an important and significant book that explores the struggles within contemporary Japanese society to come to terms with Second World War history. Focusing particularly on 1972 onwards, the period starts with the normalization of relations with China and the return of Okinawa to Japan in 1972, and ends with the sixtieth anniversary commemorations.
Analyzing the variety of ways in which the Japanese people narrate, contest and interpret the past, the book is also a major critique of the way the subject has been treated in much of the English-language. Philip Seaton concludes that war history in Japan today is more divisive and widely argued over than in any of the other major Second World War combatant nations. Providing a sharp contrast to the many orthodox statements about Japanese 'ignorance', amnesia' and 'denial' about the war, this is an engaging and illuminating study that will appeal to scholars and students of Japanese history, politics, cultural studies, society and memory theory.« (Source: Routledge)


Astley, Ian. International Journal of Asian Studies 5(1) (January 2008): 157-159. – Full Text: Cambridge Journals Online [Restricted Access]

Kingston, Jeff. »Japan’s war memories, so often misrepresented.« The Japan Times (August 5, 2007). – Full Text: The Japan Times [Free Access]

Wakabayashi, Bob T. The Journal of Japanese Studies 35(1) (Winter 2009): 181-185. – Full Text: Project MUSE [Restricted Access]

Wikipedia: Comfort women, Japanese war crimes, Pacific War, War rape

Added: July 19, 2014 | Last updated: July 19, 2014