Commemorating “comfort women�? beyond Korea: The Chinese case

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This chapter examines another case of the complex interactions between transnational memory-making and local politics. Here Vickers examines recent shifts in Chinese policy regarding public discussion of the “comfort women�? issue - particularly in relation to museums and memorials. He discusses how the Communist authorities long remained unwilling to draw public attention to this history or deploy it for diplomatic advantage. Some of the earliest efforts to exhibit this history within China in fact involved Japanese civil society groups working in partnership with local activists. Since around 2010-11, however, the Chinese state has sought to “weaponize�? the issue, co-opting prominent researchers and sponsoring moves to inscribe “comfort women�?-related documents on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register. Nonetheless, Vickers argues that key individuals in the movement for “comfort women�? commemoration, particularly the Shanghai-based researcher Su Zhiliang, have played a significant role in ensuring that the tenor in which this episode is memorialized differs significantly from that of mainstream public discourse on the war.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRemembering Asia's World War Two
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages174-207
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)9780429634055
ISBN (Print)9780367111328
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

Cite this

Vickers, E. (2019). Commemorating “comfort women�? beyond Korea: The Chinese case. In Remembering Asia's World War Two (pp. 174-207). Taylor and Francis. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780367111335-7