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The Burden of the Past: Problems of Historical Perception in Japan-Korea Relations

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The Burden of the Past reexamines the dispute over historical perception between Japan and South Korea, going beyond the descriptive emphasis of previous studies to clearly identify the many independent variables that have affected the situation. From the history textbook debates, to the Occupation-period exploitation of “comfort women,” to the Dokdo/Takeshima territory di The Burden of the Past reexamines the dispute over historical perception between Japan and South Korea, going beyond the descriptive emphasis of previous studies to clearly identify the many independent variables that have affected the situation. From the history textbook debates, to the Occupation-period exploitation of “comfort women,” to the Dokdo/Takeshima territory dispute and Yasukuni Shrine visits, Professor Kimura traces the rise and fall of popular, political, and international concerns underlying these complex and highly fraught issues.   Utilizing Japanese and South Korean newspaper databases to review discussion of the two countries’ disputed historical perceptions from the end of World War II to the present, The Burden of the Past provides readers with the historical framework and the major players involved, offering much-needed clarity on such polarizing issues. By seeing behind the public discourse and political rhetoric, this book offers a firmer footing for a discussion and the steps toward resolution.


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The Burden of the Past reexamines the dispute over historical perception between Japan and South Korea, going beyond the descriptive emphasis of previous studies to clearly identify the many independent variables that have affected the situation. From the history textbook debates, to the Occupation-period exploitation of “comfort women,” to the Dokdo/Takeshima territory di The Burden of the Past reexamines the dispute over historical perception between Japan and South Korea, going beyond the descriptive emphasis of previous studies to clearly identify the many independent variables that have affected the situation. From the history textbook debates, to the Occupation-period exploitation of “comfort women,” to the Dokdo/Takeshima territory dispute and Yasukuni Shrine visits, Professor Kimura traces the rise and fall of popular, political, and international concerns underlying these complex and highly fraught issues.   Utilizing Japanese and South Korean newspaper databases to review discussion of the two countries’ disputed historical perceptions from the end of World War II to the present, The Burden of the Past provides readers with the historical framework and the major players involved, offering much-needed clarity on such polarizing issues. By seeing behind the public discourse and political rhetoric, this book offers a firmer footing for a discussion and the steps toward resolution.

21 review for The Burden of the Past: Problems of Historical Perception in Japan-Korea Relations

  1. 4 out of 5

    Arvydas

    Japan and Koreas (both South and North) have a long history, marked with various vicissitudes. As it happens quite often, history can unite but also it separates. Kan Kimura chose to shed some light on the seemingly well-known dividing aspects between Japan and South Korea – disputes on history textbooks and comfort women. The two issues are probably the most prominent ones when it comes to portray the ideological issues between the two countries. Kimura says that the controversies of history are Japan and Koreas (both South and North) have a long history, marked with various vicissitudes. As it happens quite often, history can unite but also it separates. Kan Kimura chose to shed some light on the seemingly well-known dividing aspects between Japan and South Korea – disputes on history textbooks and comfort women. The two issues are probably the most prominent ones when it comes to portray the ideological issues between the two countries. Kimura says that the controversies of history are the matter of today, not the past. Therefore, one should be looking at the present situation in order to understand the motives behind the escalation of historical issues. This is precisely what Kimura has done in this study. The book does not deal with the issues themselves from historical perspective. Kimura’s intention was to explain the reasons behind why the controversies over the history textbooks in Japan and the comfort women were escalated precisely at that moment of history. The analysis was done by implementing the newspapers and looking at a broad context of political and social circumstances of that time. Kimura skillfully interpreted the chosen sources and wove a comprehensive story. The book is easy to read which may be also owed to the translators. Since the original publication was in Japanese thus targeted to the domestic audience, the translation provides us an opportunity to have a professional glimpse at the context of ongoing dispute. All in all, “The burden of the past” significantly enriches the existent volume dedicated to the “history wars” and the comfort women in Japan.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Etienne RP

  3. 5 out of 5

    Yoshihiko Nakamoto

  4. 5 out of 5

    John Rosenblad

  5. 5 out of 5

    Oscar Shinozuka

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bella Statham

  7. 4 out of 5

    Adam Jimenez

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Lewis

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sophie

  10. 5 out of 5

    Isabela Harada

  11. 5 out of 5

    Danny

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jack Greenberg

  13. 5 out of 5

    YoungxGod

  14. 5 out of 5

    Milk (牛乳, ミルク)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Joana Coutinho

  16. 5 out of 5

    Pearly

  17. 4 out of 5

    Edward

  18. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Hall

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kan Kimura

  20. 4 out of 5

    meeners

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joao Marcelo

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