Kioku: An Analysis of How the Memory of the World War II Remains Influencing Social and Political Aspects in Japan


On 15 August 1945, the Japanese people listened on the radio, through the words of Emperor Hirohito himself, the unconditional surrender of their country. The World War II was then coming to an end at the Pacific theater. However, the end of the war created fertile soil for various memories about the conflicts that happened in the region between 1894 and 1945. The complex framework of Japanese memories has been figured a big ideological conflict inside and outside Japan. The effect of the memories in the Japanese case is characterized by two points: the differences between the appropriation of facts; and the link between past and present. Currently, it is possible to observe such appropriations in various aspects. International and domestic politics are still using the memory about the World War II as base for an ideological conflict, especially among Japan, China and both Koreas. Memory has been, from the immediate end of the war until the present moment, a determinant of Japanese politics. Considering as main factors of influence, the complex variety of ideologies between identity groups formed inside the country and the memory representations by its neighboring countries about the World War II. Therefore, this paper aims to analyze how, nowadays, the continued transmission of those war memories indicates that a final reconciliation among Japan and its neighbors, about the World War II, is still far from being reached and point possible transformations that would change the current scene.

Author Information
Marina Magalhaes Barreto Leite Silva, Osaka University,Brazil

Paper Information
Conference: IICJ2016
Stream: Japanese History

This paper is part of the IICJ2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon