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7 Shaping Perception of the Second World War: A Study of Textbooks in Taiwan in the 1940s

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Chapter Summary

This chapter analyzes how perspectives on Second World War were constructed and disseminated through the agency of different government authorities for the consumption of the Taiwanese public. When the War began in the 1930s, Taiwan had been under Japanese colonial rule for more than three decades. The chapter examines various textbooks published and adopted by the Taiwan Sōtokufu, the highest Japanese colonial authority in Taiwan, and analyzes what information was made known and presented to schoolchildren about the War while the War was still going on. It also focuses on textbooks published and adopted by the Chinese authorities in the immediate postwar period, in order to compare them with narratives about the War produced and disseminated before 1945. The chapter explains how political regimes localized narratives about the War, and also explores the implications of these localizations in Taiwan for the consumption of the Taiwanese people.

Keywords: Chinese authorities; Japanese colonial rule; Second World War; Taiwan



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