Ways of Forgetting, Ways of Remembering: Japan in the Modern World

Ways of Forgetting Ways of Remembering Japan in the Modern World Remembering and reconstructing the past inevitably involves forgetting and nowhere so than in the complex relationship between the United States and Japan since the end of World War II In this provoca

  • Title: Ways of Forgetting, Ways of Remembering: Japan in the Modern World
  • Author: John W. Dower
  • ISBN: 9781595586186
  • Page: 398
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Remembering and reconstructing the past inevitably involves forgetting and nowhere so than in the complex relationship between the United States and Japan since the end of World War II In this provocative and probing series of essays, John W Dower one of our leading historians of postwar Japan and author of the Pulitzer Prize winning Embracing Defeat explores the usRemembering and reconstructing the past inevitably involves forgetting and nowhere so than in the complex relationship between the United States and Japan since the end of World War II In this provocative and probing series of essays, John W Dower one of our leading historians of postwar Japan and author of the Pulitzer Prize winning Embracing Defeat explores the uses and abuses to which this history has been subjected and, with deliberation and insight, affirms the urgent need for scholars to ask the questions that are not being asked.Taking as a starting point the work of E.H Norman, the unjustly neglected historian of prewar Japan, Ways of Forgetting, Ways of Remembering sets out both to challenge historiographical orthodoxy and reveal the configurations of power inherent in scholarly and popular discourse in Japan and America Dower s fascination with capturing popular experience leads to sources as far ranging as textiles adorned with wartime propaganda and the satirical cartoon panels that decorate traditional karuta playing cards Dower, who is rightly known as one of the most perceptive critics of American foreign policy, also offers a blistering critique of the U.S occupation of Iraq and the misuse of postwar Japan as an example of success.Ways of Forgetting, Ways of Remembering is a profound look at American and Japanese perceptions past and present of key moments in their shared history An incisive investigation of the problems of public history and its role in a modern democracy, these essays are essential reading for anyone interested in postwar U.S Japan relations, as well as the broader discipline of history.

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    1 thought on “Ways of Forgetting, Ways of Remembering: Japan in the Modern World”

    1. I understand now, why he said the person, dead or alive, he'd most want to talk to in person would be John Dower.In some ways, it's a utopian format, a book of academically-inclining essays. I wish every academic would come out with one of these. Something more personal and not at all dumbed down. Being personal is one of the most intelligent things a thinker can achieve.Sometimes the discipline of history feels like it is a continuous cry of defiance against the reduction that "it's all too com [...]

    2. Historian John W. Dower has recently published a collection of fascinating essays related to modern Japanese history called, Ways Of Forgetting, Ways Of Remembering: Japan In The Modern World (2012). The first essay, "E. H. Norman, Japan, and the Uses of History," is an interesting look at an obscure Canadian historian and diplomat who died in 1957 by suicide from pressure coming from the U.S. because of early leftist views and associations. Dower discusses reservations about modernization by ca [...]

    3. How should citizens in a democracy deal with history? What is being asked and equally importantly what is not being asked? Is the history of Japan both during the Second World War and after misused in the West? These are among the fascinating and important questions the supreme historian of wartime and post-war Japan, John Dower, asks in this collection of essays. As always with Dower the scholarship and the argumentation are of the very highest order, and while the evidence and the opinions giv [...]

    4. Interesting read on how Japan views WWII as well as a historian's lessons on what we can learn from it. But as a collection of essays he only hits on themes were, for whatever reason, I just didn't enjoy the episodic version as much this time.

    5. I originally put this book on my to read list after reading the excellent Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II. I thought, based on the title, that it would be about modern Japan as opposed to the post-war Japan of the previous book, but I should have remembered that I'm dealing with a historian's definition of modernity. Most of the essays collected in Ways of Forgetting, Ways of Remembering deal with the post-war period as well, but they're sufficiently different from the materi [...]

    6. to put it in bluntly simplistic terms, this book is not going to draw the same audience as Embracing Defeat. the first is a unified, coherent book-length piece of readable scholarship with a subversive title. this work, on the contrary, is a collation of Dower's essays, starting with a criticism of the racism evident in America's prosecution of the Pacific War and ending with an overtly political op-ed piece against the Iraq War. naturally, the American public, chastised on two levels (the idea [...]

    7. The most impressive essays are "Japan's Beautiful Modern War", "Race, Language, and War in Two Cultures". The first essay make me feel vigil because the propaganda at that time of Japan is very likely what our Chinese people have now - e.g. unconditional patriotism, all kinds of beautiful stories. "Race" is very interesting by showing all kinds of reaction before and after Pearl Harbor attack(also Malaria invasion), and shows lots of poster at that time, and how Allies depict Japanese as monkey [...]

    8. This is a set of essays written by the author about Japan from the early sixties to the present. Though the information about Japan was interesting, I found the author's views about the use of history to be the most interesting part of the book. The title of the book is just as apt for the views of Americans about our own history. Our unwillingness to examine the ethics of the decision to drop the atomic bombs is the most troubling to me, especially with the current debates about the use of dron [...]

    9. This is Dower's miscellaneous collection of articles, outtakes and excerpts of mostly recent work. Some of it won't make sense without a background in 20th century Japan, read something like Japan: The Story of a Nation first. His contrasts of WWII versus America's current middle east campaigns is disturbing.

    10. While not every essay in this book is equally memorable or noteworthy, the best essays in this book may be some of the best writing about how World War II is remembered, period. Dower is both critical and sensitive of how Japanese treat the war - ultimately striving to understand above all - and is devastatingly effective at skewering American pieties regarding the "Good War."

    11. Like any top-shelf history there are surprises on every page of this book. (Who knew that a 1000 US citizens died in Hiroshima during the dropping of the atomic bomb?) A brilliant collection of essays that challenge what we know about how Japan remembers the Pacific War, and equally how popular renderings of that War in the US might involve a fair amount of "forgetting" too.

    12. John W. Dower shows through the examples of wartime and post-wartime Japan are still relevant examples for today. Early Showa Japan in many ways followed the "example" of Western nations by trying colony build and influence of nations' politics, but partly for that they were despised. Post- wartime Japan was again quick to embrace the Western model.

    13. This is a good collection of articles from Dower's career. Some of the articles are stronger (and longer) than others, but the collection as a whole was informative and interesting. I will probably return to more of Dower's articles and writings as he is quickly proving himself to me as an astute scholar of the Japanese post-war years.

    14. I REALLY love John Dower. I really disliked this book. It is written without clear development. It is a collection of essays that are often not as related to the topic as I would like. I really feel like I wasted time reading this book. You would have to be a real specialist to get into this one.

    15. John Dower is both a good historian and a good writer. He gives us his evidence, mostly primary materials written by people living at the time, and shows us how he comes to his conclusions. He is not afraid of making judgments, but with evidence and due consideration of all sides. I learned lot about history from these essays - not just historical fact, but how history is made by historians.

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