Old Chapters, New Chapters: The Memory Wars in East Asia

From the very beginning of the so-called ‘post war,’ the territorial and temporal parameters of the memory wars between China and Japan were never drawn particularly cleanly. The war ended formally in Tokyo Harbour on 3 September 1945, but it took nearly another week for Okamura Yasuji to formally surrender to General He Yingqin at Nanjing. It then took months (in some rare cases, years) … Continue reading Old Chapters, New Chapters: The Memory Wars in East Asia

On Potsdam’s “Hiroshima Plaza”

In describing German responses to the Hiroshima commemoration yesterday, I made reference to an editorial which appeared in a major Berlin daily paper last June 30: …probably the most interesting item on the Hiroshima commemorations to emerge of late in the German press…is an editorial by Robert S. McKay…[which] foregrounds [and disputes] all of the [Hiroshima] commemorations with the notion that Japanese focus on war … Continue reading On Potsdam’s “Hiroshima Plaza”

Nazi Propaganda, East Asian Dictators, and Glenn Beck

Today I spent some time leafing through a solemn black notebook filled with sketches made primarily in the stacks at the University of Washington Suzzalo Library, reminding myself that not all good research is immediately digitized. Sometimes it takes a few months before a certain concept can swim down to the bottom of one’s consciousness and take root.After all, in the intervening time between the … Continue reading Nazi Propaganda, East Asian Dictators, and Glenn Beck

Kamikaze Mozart

Daniel de Roulet, a highly productive writer in Paris, not long ago produced a novel entitled Kamikaze Mozart (Paris: Buchet/Chastel, 2007), the story of Fumika, a Japanese pianist a grand interpreter of Mozart who somehow ends up studying at Berkeley during the war and playing music for Robert Oppenhemier as the scientist works on the bomb (Oppenheimer asks her “Is your Mozart going to win us the war?”) … Continue reading Kamikaze Mozart