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Introduction The Realms Of Memory: Japan And Beyond

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the book The Power of Memory in Modern Japan. In Japan, the subject of 'memory' has prompted a huge response over the last few years. The reasons behind this phenomenon have recently been summarized by Tsu Yun Hui, Jan van Bremen and Eyal Ben-Ari in their introduction to a volume Perspectives on Social Memory in Japan. The cursory look at the multi-layered structure of Japanese 'memory culture' suggests that 'memory' is also being debated in the different dimensions of Japan's political, social, economic and cultural life. The Power of Memory in Modern Japan deals with the current debates over these issues of cultural memory and commemoration; many contributions are concerned with the cultural construction of Japan's wartime past. By using cultural-historical or anthropological approaches, it would surely be possible to detect Japanese 'realms of memory' which are wholly unrelated to war or violence.

Keywords: commemoration; cultural memory; modern Japan; realms of memory; social memory; violence



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