Cruel Resurrection: Chinese Comics and the Korean War

I wrote this article in the early 2000s under the direction of the ageless Chinese art historian Shen Kuiyi, with whom I did a “cognate field” during my doctoral studies at Ohio University, and with inspiration and advice from Temple University’s John Lent, a pioneer in  global comic book scholarship whose research on cartoonists (漫画家) and cartooning in the early PRC has been foundational to … Continue reading Cruel Resurrection: Chinese Comics and the Korean War

Wartime History and Beijing’s Response to the New Defence Minister in Tokyo

In the wake of the Upper House elections in Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has completed a reshuffling of his cabinet. As described by Japan hand Michael Cucek, it was not a particularly inspiring set of choices made by the newly-consolidated Prime Minister: Taro Aso (the right-wing former PM perhaps best recalled for his off-the-cuff endorsement of Hitler’s constitutional revision style) remains at the helm … Continue reading Wartime History and Beijing’s Response to the New Defence Minister in Tokyo

Last Call for Abe Shinzo Congressional Speech Op-eds

The Stimson Center’s Yuki Tatsumi threw down the gauntlet in The Diplomat on May 7 in a piece pointedly entitled ‘Stop Obsessing over Abe’s Congressional Speech.’ The conclusion read as follows: Continuing to criticize Abe for his congressional speech is futile, even counterproductive. […] Would the audience have rather heard Abe spend most of his speech apologizing for Japan’s past wrongdoings and offer very little on his … Continue reading Last Call for Abe Shinzo Congressional Speech Op-eds

Chinese Journalists and the U.S. Occupation of Japan

At the conclusion of eight years of Japanese occupation of nearly every major city in the Republic of China, Chinese journalists were prepared not just to celebrate victory but to join the Allied nations in occupying Japan. The desire to undo the fundamental reorientation of the Sino-Japanese hierarchy of 1894-95  and restore China to regional preeminence was nearly universal, as was the consensus of seeing China … Continue reading Chinese Journalists and the U.S. Occupation of Japan

Lisa Yoneyama in Toronto; Readings on the ‘Comfort Women’ System

Yesterday I had a chance to meet briefly in Toronto with Lisa Yoneyama, who is one of the most prevalent scholars working today on issues of transnational war memory politics and World War II in Asia. We both had good things to say about new work by Barak Kusher (University of Cambridge, head of the War Crimes and Empire project) and Nicola Henry (a scholar at … Continue reading Lisa Yoneyama in Toronto; Readings on the ‘Comfort Women’ System

On Heartbreak, and Bix on Hirohito

In our culture of oversharing and social media, there is such an excess of verbiage that the words ‘must read’ or ‘essential’ have basically lost their meaning. The same is true for words like ‘heartbreaking’ — if it was really breaking your heart, you wouldn’t be on Twitter. What happens if you don’t read something ‘essential’? Usually, nothing, because the term has been turned into … Continue reading On Heartbreak, and Bix on Hirohito

Pan-Asianism and the Japanese Wartime Empire

This past spring, upon the invitation of Peter Anderson, I gave a lecture to all of the first-year History students at Leeds University on the following topic, as part of a module on world history. Some of the reading materials listed at the conclusion are paywalled (or, like Marc Driscoll’s stunning Absolute Erotic, Absolute Grotesque, should just be bought), but most are free, and all … Continue reading Pan-Asianism and the Japanese Wartime Empire

Yuanhai Fangwei [远海防卫]: Observing China’s Navy

Back in the American defense belt of Orange County, I’m reading Kissinger and reflecting on the extensive annual report to Congress from the Pentagon regarding Chinese military capabilities.  The full text of the report is here. One minor advantage of the financial focus of VP Biden’s public remarks in China from 17-21 August was that the normal drum-beating on the security front relented, but only … Continue reading Yuanhai Fangwei [远海防卫]: Observing China’s Navy

“…and each of these, you could pursue very far…” // Open-Source Teaching

Today, I am inaugurating a multi-year project whereby a great deal more of my pedagogical artifacts — my teaching materials — go online. For instance, I begin one course on the practice of history with two dueling essays by MIT historian John Dower and then-President George W. Bush on the subject of Pearl Harbor and the Pacific War in American historical memory. – George W. … Continue reading “…and each of these, you could pursue very far…” // Open-Source Teaching

Post-Soulevement

The earthquake and subsequent tsunami that thrashed the northeastern Japanese coast has generated a great deal of thinking from me, not much of it coherent or of use to readers.  Thus the silence.  At some point, I would imagine that some discussion of the following questions would emerge: To what extent have regional responses to the catastrophe intensified transnational goodwill?   Does this forceful reminder of … Continue reading Post-Soulevement