Hikari Bun

Remembering for ‘never again’: meanings of Holocaust memory and lessons from the Second World War for the Japanese in the post-witness era.

In this research project, I will explore the entanglements of memories of the Holocaust and the Asian-Pacific War in the context of Holocaust remembrance among the Japanese public in the post-witness era. The main research question is: ‘What does Holocaust memory mean to the Japanese, while Japan has claimed to renounce warfare as a lesson learnt from the Second World War yet has been arguably reluctant to confront with own aggression and war crimes?’ By discussing this question, I will examine how the Holocaust is understood and appropriated by Germany’s East Asian wartime ally as well as how Holocaust memory affects the conventional Japanese remembrance of the Asian-Pacific War, which tends to stress the aspect of the victimization of the Japanese and promote pacifism instead of facing its own colonial aggression and war crimes. I will also assess how specific collective identity such as ethnicity, nationality and religion still matters in the act of remembering the Holocaust, even if Holocaust memory is now often considered important for everybody; what it means to generalize memories of the war and the Holocaust as universal lessons from the past to promote peace and human rights; and how memories of the Holocaust and the Second World War are maintained, contested and transformed in the period when survivors’ living memories are increasingly taken over by post-witness generations.

The goal of this research is not just to outline Holocaust memory practices in a seemingly peripheral context, but to interrogate and enrich the understanding of Holocaust memory as a transnational and global memory in the post-witness era by examining Japanese cases. I also aim to foster interdisciplinary dialogues between Holocaust memory studies and Japanese studies.

Zuletzt bearbeitet von:: bbsd
Letzte Änderung: 04.03.2024
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