Summer Workshop 2017


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Asia-Pacific War Studies Project (APWAR): Summer Workshop 2017
–Discovering “Dai-Nippon”: memory, place and the politics of identity–

This two-day workshop will examine the complex—often controversial—issue of public memory in post-war Japan. Day 1 explores the roles of haunting and narrative in the production of sites of memory and includes visits to Aoyama Cemetery and Yasukuni Shrine. Day 2 focuses on wartime visual and material culture, including the screening of wartime films and an interactive lecture. These tours and screening will be followed by critical reflections, facilitated by cultural geographers, film studies specialists and historians. You will find yourselves at the point of conflict between sentiment and justice, and between traditional Japan and post-war “pacifist” Japan. The workshop will be conducted entirely in English. This is “doing history” in action and you will meet people with similar interests from a range of backgrounds and countries.

Modern Asian History, Japanese History/Studies, Politics of Memory, Cultures of Remembrance, Cultural Geography, Film Studies, Popular and Material Culture, Japan’s International Relations

July 31 (Monday), 10:00-18:00
August 1 (Tuesday), 10:15-17:30
Venue: University of Tokyo, Komaba Campus 1, Meguro-ku, Tokyo (and tours to Aoyama Cemetery and Yasukuni Shrine)

– No tuition fee required
– This event is a registration-only summer workshop project without any formal relations to Hitotsubashi University (HU) or University of Tokyo (UTokyo).

How to Join?

Send an email to

or fill in the form below with your name, email address and affiliation by 5 pm, Friday, July 28, 2017.
Non-students and late registration will be accepted pending availability.

Call For Application

Workshop: European Perspectives on World War II in the Asia-Pacific, Paris, 2-3 March 2018

APWARS Project invite applications from postdoctoral scholars for an interdisciplinary workshop, which will serve as a fresh outlook to the study of World War II in the Asia-Pacific from a European perspective, scheduled to be held on 2-3 March 2018 in Paris.

The upcoming workshop focuses on different topics including the origins, the political, military and social aspects of World War II in the Asia-Pacific as well as the representation of the war in popular media and the legacy of the conflict (justice, memory, reconciliation). It offers the possibility for five post-doctoral students based in Europe to present their approach to World War II in the Asia-Pacific. The workshop aims to (1) improve perspectives and methods in comparative studies, (2) share knowledge about European perspectives on World War II in the Asia-Pacific. Postdoctoral scholars will be required to present their research and methodology and present a case study. Each participant will be offered 300 euros in order to cover travel expenses. They will also be offered the chance to join the next workshop at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo on 22-29 July 2018. Applicants should be postdoctoral scholars who have teaching experience. The language for the workshop is English.
To apply please send the following materials to by 24:00 ETC by 10 January 2018:
1) A CV
2) A class syllabus from a course the applicant has taught concerning war and reconciliation
3) A short summary of your on-going research project

APWARS Project will notify awardees by 24:00 ETC 19 January 2018.

Subject fields: Modern and Contemporary History, Cultural Studies, International Relations, Philosophy

Registration details

Day 1(July 31 Monday):
Venue: Room 301, Bldg. 10, Komaba Campus I, The University of Tokyo*
Date and Time: 9:30-10:15

Day 2 (August 1 Tuesday):
Venue: Room 301, Bldg. 10, Komaba Campus I, The University of Tokyo*
Date and Time: 9:30-10:15

(Applications are now closed.)

Dear Participants,

I have sent out the pre-workshop package on July 21 and thereafter. However, thanks to the filtering system of various e-mail providers, I found out that this particular mail with heavy attached files tends to be classified as a junk mail. Here, I am making this announcement to let you know that we have the registration details as above. See you all there tomorrow and after tomorrow.

Taihei Okada,
Organizer of APWAR Summerwrkshop 2017


【Meet the People 3】James Thurgill

While historians tend to look at things from changes over time, geographers surveys differences–both obvious and subtle–over space. James is a geographer par excellence of the latter kind. Furthermore, his interests are of the second order. Rather than analyzing what is out there and providing his own interpretation of subtleties, James is concerned about the production of knowledge based on the observer’s spacial movement and the observer’s interaction with historical memory, which is embedded in the scenes that he walks through. In James’s analysis, therefore, the subjectivity of the observer is also examined. For this workshop too, he is interested in how each participant’s reacts to things located in the places we visit and how he interprets historical memory associated with these things. The following is his personal website where you can observe the glimpse of his thinking.

‘Ghostly’ Themed Reading

Spectral traces of Japan’s past are waiting to be uncovered at Aoyama Cemetery…what better way to prepare for Day 1 of the APWAR Summer Workshop than whiling away the hours with a little ‘ghostly’ themed reading:

[1] Kong, L. (1999) ‘Cemeteries and Columbaria, memorials and mausoleums: narrative and interpretation in the study of deathscapes in geography’, Australian Geographical Studies, 37(1), pp. 1-10.

[2] Maddrell, A. (2013) ‘Living with the deceased: absence, presence and absence-presence’, Cultural Geographies, 20(4), pp. 501-522.

[3] Pile, S. (2005) ‘Spectral Cities: Where the Repressed Returns and Other Short Stories’ in Hillier, J. and Rooksby, E. (eds.) Habitus: A Sense of Place. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Publishing Group, pp. 235-257.

[4] van Bremen, J. (1998) ‘Death rites in Japan in the twentieth century’ In: Hendry, J. (ed), Interpreting Japanese Society: Anthropological Approaches. 2nd Edition. Routledge: London and New York, pp. 131-146.


【Meet the People 2】Iris Haukamp

Iris Haukamp has been with Tokyo University of Foreign Studies for about two years and, thanks to a circuit of public lectures and talk events in different milieus, she is becoming well-known among the aficionados and scholars of the pre-war and wartime Japanese films in and around Tokyo. Her scholarly interests have been on film and society with particular emphasis on trans-border production process, inter-cultural relations and gender. For this workshop, she is focusing on the basic question of why people need the visual representations of “heroes” especially in times of war. For more on Iris:

【Meet the People 1】Satoshi NAKANO

Professor Satoshi Nakano’s scholarship covers the Philippine Studies, International Relations among the Philippines, U.S. and Japan and Politics of Memory. One of the recent practical influences of his scholarship was on Japanese Emperor Akihito’s visit to the Philippines this January, in which Emperor Akihito addressed not only damages of war at large –usual ambiguities of Japanese politicians’ speeches on the issues surrounding Asia Pacific War– but actual sufferings of the Filipinos. He stated, “Last year Japan marked the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. During this war, fierce battles between Japan and the United States took place on Philippine soil, resulting in the loss of many Filipino lives and leaving many Filipinos injured. This is something we Japanese must never forget and we intend to keep this engraved in our hearts throughout our visit.”