This international conference aims to understand how political rule and legal authority were redrafted in postwar Japan and East Asia. The research presentations will shed light on a variety of historical transformations that occurred immediately after the surrender of Japan. These political, social, economic, legal, and military shifts continue to have deep resonance in the contemporary world and demonstrate new steps toward understanding how the dissolution of the Japanese empire both influenced and impeded post-WWII relations in the region.
We finished the 2013-2014 academic year with an excellent workshop from Dr. Matthew Johnson of Grinnell College, USA. Dr. Johnson spoke at length on his research concerning the institutions that make up the Chinese state in its shift from the late Qing, to the Republican government and into the early moments of Communist rule. Dr. Johnson is keenly interested in the manner in which governments develop organs that mobilize and coalesce inhabitants of the nation into a cohesive unit. The group discussed his findings at length, his research on Chinese media, film and education, and look forward to his forthcoming book.
On April 29 and 30 Professor Sun Ge (孙歌) from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (中国社会科学院文学研究所) offered us two intensive days of lectures and discussion, in Japanese and Chinese.
On April 29 Dr. Sun discussed the nature of postwar Japanese thought, focusing on Takeuchi Yoshimi and Maruyama Masao, and touching on issues of war responsibility and concepts of how Japanese view history and World War II.
On 30 April she continued her in-depth approach and spoke at length on postwar Sino-Japanese relations and her analysis of why this important political relationship remains rocky.
Dr. Kumamoto Fumio from Komazawa University, Japan offered us a morning workshop on the history of Japan’s foreign policy toward China, 1918-45. As an expert in Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs archives, Dr. Kumamoto taught the group the intricacies of how to use the archives and ways we should approach conducting research and employing the archival finding aids produced by the ministry.