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Shifting contours of memory and history, 1904–1980

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Chapter Summary

Pierre Nora's approach can be fruitfully applied to any country, and this chapter does so by analyzing Japanese memory and the Russo-Japanese War. It builds on the work of other scholars, unique in its coverage of both the pre-and post-World War II eras as well as a multitude of cultural forms, from monuments and commemorations to academic works, fiction, and film. The wild enthusiasm exhibited by the Japanese during the war proved to be ephemeral and faded quickly. It was only after the Pacific War that fairly dispassionate studies of the causes and diplomacy of the Russo-Japanese War began to appear, for instance Shinobu Junpei's archival-based History of Komura Diplomacy. The Russo-Japanese War first showed the Japanese populace that their nation had succeeded at emulating European modernization and becoming a great power.

Keywords: Komura Diplomacy; Pacific War; Pierre Nora; post-World War II; pre-World War II; Russo-Japanese War

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