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The Second World War And Autobiography In Japan. Tales Of War And The “Movement For One’s Own History” (Jibunshi)

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Chapter Summary

The Japanese are a nation of devoted, even obsessive diary-writers. This chapter shows in more detail that such writing education has been effective. The chapter describes some developments of personal writing in Japan as they have been used for coming to terms with the memory of the second world war. Tracing back the history of autobiographical war tales in Postwar- Japan, one can come across the monthly magazine Sekai, which in 1955,only 10 years after the war, organized a collection of readers' manuscripts relating to how they felt on the 15th of August in 1945. Irokawa emphasized the value of jibunshi as historical material, but held it equally important for the development of a historical consciousness in the people. There is another motivation for writing one's own story that is to be encountered very often: The duty to compose a requiem.

Keywords: autobiographical war tales; diary writing; Irokawa; jibunshi; postwar - Japan; requiem; second world war



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