for understanding the complexity of war memory and the challenges facing any effort to put the past to rest. Reconciliation is not a process involving the simple binary of China and Japan but a multiplicity of wartime Chinas as well. At the same time, as much as this volume works toward breaking down the myth of a unitary Chinese experience, MacKinnon also warns against interpreting diversity as somehow diminishing the impact of the war on China as a whole. The legacy of the Second Sino-Japanese War in Chinese history remains extraordinary and its weight is in no way reduced by its complexity. Japan's Contested War Memories: The "Memory Rifts" in Historical Consciousness of World War II. By Philip A. Seaton. Routledge, London, 2007. xiii, 258 pages. $170.00. Reviewed by Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi York University Philip A. Seaton, an associate professor of media and communications at Hokkaido University, is to be congratulated for producing a highly readable and well-organized monograph, commendable both for its message and its method. His book is of huge value for disabusing foreign, largely nonacademic, commentators of a widely shared and derisive myth: "the Japanese" suffer from historical amnesia except when wallowing in the self-pity
The Journal of Japanese Studies – Society for Japanese Studies
Published: Jan 15, 2009
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