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

California Swoop: Xinjiang Scholars and Hoover Papers

I’m on the California northward swoop this afternoon, having spent yesterday at University of California-Irvine and today, thanks to a 3 a.m. start in Los Angeles and monumentally placid weather on the coast, working in the Hoover Institution Archives at Stanford. UC-Irvine is the home of Prof. Jeffrey Wasserstrom and his China Beat blog.  The blog’s leading essay today, by James Millward of Georgetown, provides … Continue reading California Swoop: Xinjiang Scholars and Hoover Papers

Comparative War Crimes Trials, Holocaust Conference (Tacoma)

This afternoon I gave a joint research/teaching presentation with Tomaz Jardim of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.: The presentation, which was well attended by a group full of ideas, made me want to read more articles, or create more articles, comparing the postwar trials in Tokyo and Nanking to those in Nuremberg and France.  Certainly some good work has been done on this subject already, … Continue reading Comparative War Crimes Trials, Holocaust Conference (Tacoma)

Japanese on Trial in Beijing, September 1950

Amid the highly-charged atmosphere of autumn 1950 in Beijing, seeking out any and all “enemies of the people,” the city courts put a Japanese on trial for espionage.  Almost fifty-nine years later (e.g., this past June) I happened to meet a bureau chief of a major Japanese news agency who was doing some research on a similar topic in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Archive.  … Continue reading Japanese on Trial in Beijing, September 1950