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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

An Event at UBC, November 21: Dr. Tomomi Yamaguchi and Satoko Oka Norimatsu, 'The “History Wars” and the “Comfort Woman” Issue: Revisionism and the Right-wing in Contemporary Japan, U.S., and Canada' カナダ・ブリティッシュコロンビア大学で、「歴史戦」についてのセミナーが開かれます。

(11月28日追記)tReposting my quick report of the event that I posted on Facebook on November 23. このイベントは大盛況でした!11月23日にFBにクイック報告したものを転載します。

Thanks for everyone who came and CKR/CJR, and Tomomi for the success, particularly the big turnout of this event! I learned a lot from Tomomi's talk, specifically what major roles the Japanese government played in suppressing movements for memorialization of Imperial Japan's past wrong in North America, along with the right-wing forces. Her extensive knowlege and fieldwork with regard to the Japanese rights' "history wars" helped me contexutualize what happened in the Lower Mainland and the rest of Canada from 2015 to 2018 around the movements to establish a Comfort Women statue and the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Day. There was a real sense of collaboration, mutual learning and solidarity in the room packed with students, faculty members, community members from all age groups and cultural backgrounds. Thanks so much! No tolerance for hate! No tolerance for history denial! We will continue to advocate historical justice, peace and reconciliation in Asia. 21日ブリティッシュコロンビア大学での山口智美さん(モンタナ大学准教授)を迎えてのセミナー、会場が溢れるほどの参加と、内容についても高い評価をいただきました。大学のコリア研究センターと日本研究センターが共催し、日本軍「慰安婦」の記憶を海外で継承する行為に対する日本政府、右派の介入や歴史否定の問題を共に考える機会を持った意義を会場全体で共有したと思います。ありがとうございました!


Here is an event at UBC, co-sponsored by the Centre for Korean Research and the Centre for Japanese Research. Please spread the word. No registration is necessary.

Dr. Tomomi Yamaguchi and Satoko Oka Norimatsu, “The “History Wars” and the “Comfort Woman” Issue: Revisionism and the Right-wing in Contemporary Japan, U.S., and Canada”


Time and Date: 7-9 PM, Thursday November 21, 2019 
Place: Room 120, C. K. Choi Building, UBC Point Grey Campus

1855 West Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2

An issue of intense controversy currently in Japan is “comfort women”, with many in the right wing relentlessly attacking the accepted historical narrative and denying that there was any government involvement in, or corresponding responsibility for, a system of sexual slavery. Right-wing media and intellectuals have begun to use the term “history wars” to refer to this development. They have criticized the “comfort woman” monuments, resolutions, museum exhibits, and coverage of “comfort women” in history textbooks and curriculums in the U.S.. In particular, as “comfort woman” monuments and statues have been built in various locations in the world, including the U.S., during the last decade, they have become the target of attacks from the Japanese government and Japanese right-wingers. They consider the United States to be the major “battleground” on the “comfort woman” issue, as well as to the United Nations.

Based on Dr. Yamaguchi’s anthropological fieldwork on the Japanese right-wing activities in the U.S. and Japan, as well as the experiences of people involved in the making of the “comfort women” memorials in the U.S., Dr. Yamaguchi will demonstrate how this issue functions as an important rallying point to tie together disparate right-wing forces in and outside Japan. Dr. Yamaguchi will also highlight how the acts of remembering and commemorating the survivors’ experiences of wartime violence against women become such a contentious, political issue that mobilize the Japanese right-wing so intensively and emotionally both in Japan and the United States.

Following Dr. Yamaguchi’s talk, Satoko Oka Norimatsu, Yamaguchi’s fellow Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus editor and a Vancouver-based author, will introduce “history wars” in Canada, in 2015 over the plan to build a “comfort women” statue in Burnaby, and in 2018 over the movement to establish a Nanjing Massacre Commemorative Day in Canada.

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