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Chapter Summary

This introduction chapter provides some preliminary commentary on the complexities of traumas of the Asia Pacific War, and its artistic representation and reception. It considers the experience and after effects of trauma and the convoluted processes by which Japanese survivor-narrators struggle to represent and (re)constitute their experiences - and reintegrate themselves - through artistic expression. Next, the chapter substantiates our claim that great works of traumatic art in general, and the dialectical images created in them in particular, comprise distinct, independent modes of representing, constituting, cognizing and responding to unprecedented historical events and experiences. Finally, it turns to critical matters regarding the relationships between concerned observers, the traumatized observed and their artistic representations of overwhelming experience.

Keywords: Asia Pacific War; Japanese artistic representation; traumatic historical events



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