Categorising Victimhood: Manchukuo and the Gendered National History of the Japanese Empire’s Violent Collapse in Northeast Asia

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Abstract

National victimhood is rarely immutable or permanent; instead, it reflects the transformations in society and ideas about citizenship. In Cold War historiography, the Japanese empire—a behemoth that controlled more than 7.5 million square kilometres of land and sea and ruled over millions of imperial subjects—has mostly been analysed through the lens of national history. This national framework has often discounted the importance of empire and ignored its many legacies. One consequence of this limited vision was the categorisation of Japanese victimhood along the lines of gender and the civilian-military divide. These divisions and omissions were not limited to the non-Japanese—even former “defenders of empire” might find themselves left out of the mainstream accounts of history.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-40
JournalSituations: Cultural Studies in the Asian Context
Volume10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2017

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