Capitalists can do no wrong: Selective memories of war and occupation in Hong Kong

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Abstract

In this chapter, Vickers examines how public representations of Hong Kong’s conquest and occupation by Japan have evolved over the period since Hong Kong’s “handover�? to China in 1997. While focusing mainly on the war’s portrayal in two major local museums, the Hong Kong Museum of History and the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence, he also discusses the broader context for portrayals of Hong Kong’s post-war history, involving cultural and education policy in the years before and since the retrocession. In analyzing how official portrayals of the war - in museums and school textbooks - differ from those seen in other Chinese societies, this chapter especially highlights the representation of the local Chinese elite. It argues that the fundamental continuity of this elite, and its close relationship with the political authorities - British, Japanese, or Chinese - accounts for peculiarities in the local handling of the issue of collaboration. Vickers concludes that the selective treatment of this issue reflects tensions inherent in the state’s attempt to promote a vision of Hong Kong as both an apolitical capitalist utopia and a staunchly “patriotic�? Chinese community.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRemembering Asia's World War Two
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages129-155
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9780429634055
ISBN (Print)9780367111328
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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