This introductory chapter locates recent shifts in war memory across the Asia region within the wider historical literature that seeks to explain the phenomenon of “memory booms�?. While recognizing those global changes which have influenced the timing and shape of war remembrance across Asia as well as Europe, the authors take aim at a Western diffusionist model of the history of war memory. They argue that approaches informed by European experience need to better take account of historical difference and be, in effect, provincialized. They also contend that the ruptures in Asian war memory directly occasioned by the end of the Cold War have been overplayed. Rather, the major recent rupture in war remembrance has been the increasingly interconnected nature of war memory-making in the region, across national boundaries and involving growing numbers of non-state actors. This has influenced a shift from portraying the wars of 1931-45 as a series of local national wars, each with its own political significance and temporality, towards presenting them as a common pan-Asian experience.
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