Jeff Kingston “Japan's war memories, so often misrepresented” http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fb20070805a1.html
Philip A. Seaton Japan’s Contested War Memories: The "Memory Rifts" in Historical Consciousness of WWII, Routledge, 2007という本が出版されたらしく、その書評。
Seaton points out that war memory is fiercely contested among Japanese, and collective amnesia is impossible given this ubiquitous and robust discourse. History remains at the center of contemporary political battles and it is thus a "current affairs" issue. The author writes: "The ways that Japanese people interact with their Asian neighbors, attitudes toward conflicts in other parts of the globe, nuclear issues, and attitudes concerning the core symbols of Japanese nationhood — the flag, emperor, national anthem, constitution and Japan's wider global role — are all inextricably linked to memories and interpretations of Japan's wartime past. The war has not been forgotten. Quite the opposite, the Japanese seem unable to let it go."
"Japan's Contested War Memories" asserts that the English-language media consistently misrepresents the true state of war memory among Japanese by focusing too much on attempts by conservatives and the ruling elite to impose a vindicating and glorifying narrative of the war that emphasizes Japan's victimization. This "orthodoxy" of a nation in denial and shirking war responsibility overlooks the significance of memory rifts in Japan. In examining textbooks, other educational materials, television documentaries, films and printed media, Seaton finds that progressive views critical of Japan's wartime aggression and accepting responsibility are more representative of Japanese opinion. He writes, "typically 50 to 60 percent of people characterize the war as 'aggressive,' while anything between 50 and 80 percent . . . are either critical of the government's 'inadequate' treatment of war responsibility issues . . . or are supportive of additional compensation and initiatives acknowledging aggression."
実際、日本において第二次世界大戦を巡る「戦争の記憶」は常に論争の渦中にある。さらに、「戦時の日本の侵略に対して批判的で、［戦争］責任を引き受ける」という”progressive views”の方が実は”more representative of Japanese opinion”なのである*1。このことをSeaton氏は日本の学校教科書、TVドキュメンタリー、映画等々を参照して論証しているのだという。しかし、問題は、それにも拘わらず、”the English-language media consistently misrepresents the true state of war memory among Japanese by focusing too much on attempts by conservatives and the ruling elite to impose a vindicating and glorifying narrative of the war that emphasizes Japan's victimization.”ということなのだろうが、そこには、
Memory rifts in Japan feature a battle between "a politically powerful conservative lobby whose war stance . . . has been a minority opinion but which has maintained control over the official narrative and policy" versus "a politically weak progressive lobby which has the support of a small majority of public opinion but has failed to . . . change the official narrative."
Although Seaton claims that Japan boasts "probably the most contested memories of any of the major WWII combatant nations," this perspective does not seem to matter in China and Korea where the "orthodoxy" of an unrepentant Japan in denial goes unchallenged.
In looking at the future of war memory, it is hard to avert our eyes from the competing selective gazes of state-centered war memories that bedevil relations in East Asia. Translating this book into Chinese and Korean might help.