Thursday, December 08, 2005

IIAS Special on Pacific War and Memory

The International Institute for Asian Studies in the Netherlands had a special issue this year on the Pacific War and memory. There were a couple of Taiwan-related articles. Most are short, like this one on the suppression of Taiwanese service in the Japanese Army and Chiang Kai-shek's late claim to Taiwan:

As a result of the aforementioned processes of transplantation and suppression of historical memory, Taiwanese largely forgot their own wartime history of fighting and suffering as part of the Japanese wartime empire. What the Taiwanese remembered about the war was, instead, mainland China's wartime history. But while remembering the transplanted Other's war history of glory and triumph, Taiwanese were continuously reminded that they did not win the war. It was often asserted in history textbooks and official accounts that it was the Chinese, contrary to the Taiwanese who sided with Japan, who fought the 'national war of resistance (minzu kangzhan)'. As a result, the Taiwanese hardly recognized themselves, or were recognized by others, as victors of the war. At the same time, since Taiwan's own wartime history of fighting and suffering was largely suppressed in public memory, Taiwanese hardly recognized themselves, or were recognized by others, as victims of the war.

...and a review of literature in Taiwan during the colonial period:

With the lifting of martial law and the prevalence of nativist movements over the past three decades, the importance of literature from colonial Taiwan continues to grow. Begun as part of the anti-Japanese resistance, it departed from classical Chinese tradition and underwent its own development and maturation. This opulent literary legacy illustrates the painful process of these writers' constructions of selfhood and negotiation with the colonial condition, providing us with a complex picture of the workings of colonialism.


Sun Bin said...

pacific war :)...hmmm... it is not WWII or Anti-fascist War any more?

Sun Bin said...

....and great find, a lot of good essays. thx.

Michael Turton said...

You're welcome!