Studies in Historical Memory: A Path to Contemporary Understanding


This presentation will examine case studies of historical memory in classes with Japanese university students. Students have grown up with a sense of pride in Japan being a peaceful member of the international community. At the same time, students often express frustration that the good points of Japan are overlooked by its neighbours and that irrespective of what Japan does, it will always be criticised. In this situation students feel powerless to make their country correctly understood. Case studies of historical memories which highlight the way the same events are being remembered differently in different places, e.g Hideyoshi's Korean incursions and the assassination of Ito Hirobumi, can be a way to develop student understanding and empathy. The case studies provide students with an introduction to different perspectives presented in a non-confrontational way. By encasing the studies in the context of historical memory, students are able to take on board other perspectives without feeling that they or their country is being criticised. Students are encouraged to interrogate the idea of 'patriotic' history and discuss their ideas about the way history should be taught at school. The presentation will also look at student solutions to contemporary problems.

Author Information
Cecilia Fujishima, Shirayuri Women's University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACEID2016
Stream: Education: social justice and social change

This paper is part of the ACEID2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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