Date: 16 March 2017
Members of the ERC Project “Dissolution of Japan’s Empire,” led by Principal Investigator Dr Barak Kushner, presented a panel at the Annual conference of the Association for Asian Studies on March 16, 2017. The conference, held this year at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto, Canada, is the largest gathering of scholars of Asia from all over the world, with over 3,000 participants attending talks and discussions over three days.
The Project panel, titled “Phantoms of Japan’s Empire: Rethinking Transitions from World War to Cold War, 1945-1950,” aimed to reconsider Japan’s transitions from war to postwar, empire to Cold War. Based on a wide range of archival materials in Japanese, Chinese, Russian and English, which the project team have been consulting in their investigations, the panel papers scrutinised the complicated processes of dismantling Japan’s empire after defeat in World War II. They traced empire’s seeming disappearance, arguing that the transition from imperial era to the post-empire was a lot messier than acknowledged by the existing scholarship in the English language, that the crumbling of the imperial order did not happen overnight, that its many legacies continue to haunt the East Asian region to this day. Professor Toyomi Asano of Waseda University expertly chaired the panel, emphasising in his remarks the importance of the panel topic to the broader scholarship. Continue reading