JAP142 War, Memory and Politics in East Asia

Filozofická fakulta
jaro 2023
2/0/0. 5 kr. Ukončení: zk.
Ing. Ivo Plšek, M.A., M. P. P., Ph.D. (přednášející)
doc. PhDr. Luboš Bělka, CSc.
Seminář japonských studií - Centrum asijských studií - Filozofická fakulta
Dodavatelské pracoviště: Seminář japonských studií - Centrum asijských studií - Filozofická fakulta
! JPNB62 War, Memory and Politics in East Asia && ! NOWANY ( JPNB62 War, Memory and Politics in East Asia )
Fluency in English.

NOTE (spring 2021): Since this is a seminar course based on intensive in-class debates, the number of participants in this course will have to be kept to a smaller size in order to facilitate a smooth on-line experience. This means that this year, some of you might not be able to enroll if the number exceeds the set limitations. All this, however, will be sorted out during our first meeting. Hence, if you are really interested in this course, send me a requirement via the IS system for an "exception" and attend the first session.
Omezení zápisu do předmětu
Předmět je nabízen i studentům mimo mateřské obory.
Předmět si smí zapsat nejvýše 10 stud.
Momentální stav registrace a zápisu: zapsáno: 0/10, pouze zareg.: 0/10, pouze zareg. s předností (mateřské obory): 0/10
Mateřské obory/plány
Cíle předmětu
How does Japan approach the legacies of WWII? What factors/actors play a major role in the process? Why do issues such as the Yasukuni shrine, comfort women or national textbook writing still cause so much trouble in East Asia? How does the situation compare to Europe? And are there any lessons that can be learned from this?

The legacies of imperial past have divided Japanese society since 1945. They have also been a major roadblock to better relations amongst Northeast Asian powers: Japan, China and South Korea. In this course, we will develop a rich understanding of this “history problem.” We will investigate both the domestic and the international dimension of this issue. Of particular interest will be the five vexing controversies of today: the Yasukuni shrine, comfort women, history textbooks, territorial disputes and the legacy of atomic bombing. To gain a more contextualized understanding, we will also contrast the Asian memory problem with European experiences.
The ultimate goal of the class is to understand why countries deal with their problematic pasts the way they do, and how Japan and East Asia have fared in this regard.
This course will appeal to students with interest in comparative history, political science, international relations, memory studies and East Asia.

Pre-requisites: English fluency is essential. Participants must be able to read and write in English. Completing a 10-page seminar paper is part of the course’s requirements.
Výstupy z učení
Upon completion, students will:

1. Acquire a detailed knowledge of the evolution and the current controversies surrounding the Yasukuni shrine, comfort women, territorial disputes, history textbook writing and atomic bombs.
2. Learn how China, Korea and the United States differ on these issues from Japan and explore both the strengths and weaknesses of each country’s position.
3. Learn how to interpret and critique present-day newspaper, TV and other media coverage related “memory” disputes.
4. Become familiar with the European process of reconciliation and understand how it can but also should NOT be applied to East Asia.
5. Develop hypotheses about memory and reconciliation politics and come up with potential policy solutions.
  • Course outline (tentative)
  • 1.National memory, Politics and the State; Japan’s History Problem in Asia – An Overview.
  • 2.Japan after 1945 – Remembering the past at home; Comfort Women – The Thorn in ROK-Japan Relations.
  • 3.Yasukuni Shrine; History Textbooks and Public Education in Japan and Asia.
  • 4.Senkaku, Takeshima and the Northern Territories Island Disputes; Atomic Bombs from the Perspectives of Victims, Victimizers and Bystanders.
  • 5.Memories on Two Continents: Germany, Austria and Japan.
  • 6.Apologies, reconciliation or conflict? The Future of East Asian Diplomacy.
    doporučená literatura
  • BERGER, Thomas U. War, guilt, and world politics after World War II. First published. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. vii, 259. ISBN 9781107674950. info
  • SERAPHIM, Franziska. War memory and social politics in Japan, 1945-2005. 1st pbk. ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Asia Center, 2008. xv, 409. ISBN 9780674028302. info
  • The making of the "Rape of Nanking"history and memory in Japan, China, and the United States. Edited by Takashi Yoshida. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. x, 268 p. ISBN 9780195180961. info
  • Northeast Asia's difficult past : essays in collective memory. Edited by Barry Schwartz - Mikyoung Kim. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. 276 p. ISBN 9780230237476. info
  • BREEN, John. Yasukuni, the War Dead, and the Struggle for Japan´s past. New York: Columbia UP, 2008. info
  • STURGEON, William Daniel. Japan's Yasukuni Shrine: place of peace or place of conflict? : regional politics of history and memory in East Asia. Boca Raton, Florida: Dissertation.com, 2006. xii, 123. ISBN 1581123345. info
Výukové metody
Instructor-led debates will be the main teaching method. Lectures will further supplement discussions where assigned readings do not suffice. Each meeting will last four hours. Before that, students will be asked to read several journal articles/book chapters. This class will differ from the courses typically offered at the Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University. Rather than a survey of a field or a historical epoch, we will delve deeply into one research area and explore all potential avenues within it. We will also try to solve questions that contemporary research is grappling with. A seminar paper, addressing them, will be part of this effort.
Metody hodnocení
The grade will consist of participation (10%), weekly quizzes (50%) and a seminar paper (40%). Weekly quizzes will be short multiple-choice tests, designed to check students’ reading preparation. The seminar paper will be a 10-page long essay. It will be written as a response to a research puzzle/question provided by the instructor. Attendance is not mandatory but absences will negatively affect the overall grade.

Grade distribution:
A 100% -90%
B 89% - 80%
C 79 - 75%
D 74% - 70%
E 69% - 65%
F 64% - 0%
Vyučovací jazyk
Navazující předměty
Informace učitele
If you contact the instructor, use English. Office hours will take place each Friday after class.
Další komentáře
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Předmět je určen i pro studenty mimo mateřské obory.
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Předmět je zařazen také v obdobích jaro 2019, jaro 2021, jaro 2022.