Total War and National Belonging: Japanese as Americans and Koreans as Japanese in WWII
A Lecture by Dr. Takashi Fujitani
Monday, March 5
6:00pm, Maraschi Hall in Fromm (University of San Francisco main campus)
This talk examines the ways in which understandings of national belonging in the US and Japan began to shift dramatically in response to the need to mobilize minorities and colonial subjects for total war. Focusing especially on the cases of Japanese Americans and Koreans within the Japanese empire, Professor Fujitani argues that the US and Japan became increasingly alike during the course of the war, most tellingly in their common attempts to disavow racism even as they reproduced it in new forms. Racism did not disappear, he will argue, but changed in ways that continue to impact understandings of race and national belonging on both sides of the Pacific today. While noting significant differences in the postwar situations of minorities and former colonial subjects in the US and Japan, he suggests that in terms of the management of race, the conventional tendency to draw similarities between Japan and Nazi Germany during WWII needs to be reexamined.
Dr. Takashi Fujitani is the Dr. David Chu Professor and Director in Asia Pacific Studies at the University of Toronto. His research focuses especially on modern and contemporary Japanese history, East Asian history, Asian American history, and transnational history (primarily U.S./Japan and Asia Pacific). Much of his past and current research has centered on the intersections of nationalism, colonialism, war, memory, racism, ethnicity, and gender, as well as the disciplinary and area studies boundaries that have figured our ways of studying these issues. He is the author of Splendid Monarchy (UC Press, 1996; Japanese version, NHK Books, 1994; Korean translation, Yeesan Press, 2003) and Race for Empire: Koreans as Japanese and Japanese as Koreans in WWII (UC Press, 2011; Japanese version forthcoming from Iwanami Shoten); co-editor of Perilous Memories: The Asia Pacific War(s) (Duke U. Press, 2001); and editor of the series Asia Pacific Modern (UC Press).
**This event is co-sponsored by the Japan Policy Research Institute at USF Center for the Pacific Rim.**
Dr. Hwaji Shin
Department of Sociology
University of San Francisco
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