The Unpredictability of the Past

9780822339335: Hardback
Release Date: 21st August 2007

9780822339458: Paperback
Release Date: 21st August 2007

7 illustrations

Dimensions: 156 x 235

Number of Pages: 352

Series American Encounters/Global Interactions

Duke University Press Books

The Unpredictability of the Past

Memories of the Asia-Pacific War in U.S.–East Asian Relations

Edited by
Marc Gallicchio
Hardback / £90.00
Paperback / £23.99

In The Unpredictability of the Past, an international group of historians examines how collective memories of the Asia-Pacific War continue to affect relations among China, Japan, and the United States. The contributors are primarily concerned with the history of international relations broadly conceived to encompass not only governments but also nongovernmental groups and organizations that influence the interactions of peoples across the Pacific. Taken together, the essays provide a rich, multifaceted analysis of how the dynamic interplay between past and present is manifest in policymaking, popular culture, public commemorations, and other arenas.

The contributors interpret mass media sources, museum displays, monuments, film, and literature, as well as the archival sources traditionally used by historians. They explore how American ideas about Japanese history shaped U.S. occupation policy following Japan’s surrender in 1945, and how memories of the Asia-Pacific War influenced Washington and Tokyo policymakers’ reactions to the postwar rise of Soviet power. They investigate topics from the resurgence of Pearl Harbor images in the U.S. media in the decade before September 11, 2001, to the role of Chinese war museums both within China and in Chinese-Japanese relations, and from the controversy over the Smithsonian Institution’s Enola Gay exhibit to Japanese tourists’ reactions to the USS Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor. One contributor traces how a narrative commemorating African Americans’ military service during World War II eclipsed the history of their significant early-twentieth-century appreciation of Japan as an ally in the fight against white supremacy. Another looks at the growing recognition and acknowledgment in both the United States and Japan of the Chinese dimension of World War II. By focusing on how memories of the Asia-Pacific War have been contested, imposed, resisted, distorted, and revised, The Unpredictability of the Past demonstrates the crucial role that interpretations of the past play in the present.

Contributors. Marc Gallicchio, Waldo Heinrichs, Haruo Iguchi, Xiaohua Ma, Frank Ninkovich, Emily S. Rosenberg, Takuya Sasaki, Yujin Yaguchi, Daqing Yang

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction / Marc Gallicchio 1
I. Memory’s Many Forms
1. Remembering Pearl Harbor before September 11, 2001 / Emily S. Rosenberg 15
II. Policymakers and the Uses of Historical Memory
2. The First Revisionists: Bonner Fellers, Herbert Hoover, and Japan’s Decision to Surrender / Haruo Iguchi 51
3. History and Memory in Postwar U.S.-Japanese Relations / Frank Ninkovich 85
4. Cold War Diplomacy and Memories of the Pacific War: A Comparison of the American and Japanese Cases / Takuya Sasaki 121
III. Making Memory Concrete: Museums, Monuments, and Memorials
5. Constructing a National Memory of the War: War Museums in China, Japan, and the United States / Xiaohua Ma 155
6. The Enola Gay and the Contested Public Memory / Waldo Heinrichs 201
7. War Memories across the Pacific Japanese Visitors at the Arizona Memorial / Yujin Yaguchi 234
IV. Transpacific Memories
8. Memory and the Lost Found Relationship between Black Americans and Japan / Marc Gallicchio 255
9. Entangled Memories: China in American and Japanese Remembrances of World War II / Daqing Yang 287
Concluding Remarks / Marc Gallicchio 319
Contributors 329
Index 331

Marc Gallicchio is Professor of History at Villanova University. He is the author of The African American Encounter with Japan and China: Black Internationalism in Asia, 1895–1945 and The Cold War Begins in Asia: American East Asian Policy and the Fall of the Japanese Empire.

The Unpredictability of the Past advances an important and growing literature on the construction of history and public memory, in which World War II and U.S.–East Asian relations figure prominently. By an array of recognized senior and promising younger scholars, the essays introduce an impressive and engaging range of topics and sources.”—Joseph M. Henning, author of Outposts of Civilization: Race, Religion, and the Formative Years of American-Japanese Relations

“Bringing together essays by some of the best authors writing international history today, The Unpredictability of the Past provides fascinating insights into the formation and uses of memories related to World War II. It is an outstanding collection.”—Thomas W. Zeiler, author of Unconditional Defeat: Japan, America, and the End of World War II