The Victim as Hero: Ideologies of Peace and National Identity in Postwar Japan

James J. Orr

Published by University of Hawaii Press, 2001
ISBN 10: 0824824350 / ISBN 13: 9780824824358
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Synopsis: This is the first systematic, historical inquiry into the emergence of "victim consciousness" (higaisha ishiki) as an essential component of Japanese pacifist national identity after World War II. In his meticulously crafted narrative and analysis, the author reveals how postwar Japanese elites and American occupying authorities collaborated to structure the parameters of remembrance of the war, including the notion that the emperor and his people had been betrayed and duped by militarists. He goes on to explain the Japanese reliance on victim consciousness through a discussion of the ban-the-bomb movement of the mid-1950s, which raised the prominence of Hiroshima as an archetype of war victimhood and brought about the selective focus on Japanese war victimhood; the political strategies of three self-defined war victim groups (A-bomb victims, repatriates, and dispossessed landlords) to gain state compensation and hence valorization of their war victim experiences; shifting textbook narratives that reflected contemporary attitudes and structured future generations' understanding of the war; and three classic antiwar novels and films that contributed to the shaping of a "sentimental humanism" that continues to leave a strong imprint on the collective Japanese conscience.

Review: "James Orr provides the first systematic, historical inquiry into the emergence of the concept of victimhood in postwar Japan. He describes vividly how the notion of victimhood has been institutionalized through the use of elite political rhetoric, school texts, novels, films, and reparations battles, and he offers a compelling explanation for the peculiar, distorted form that moral argumentation surrounding war responsibility has taken. This is a politically and intellectually courageous study that arrives at balanced, dispassionate, illuminating, and persuasive conclusions."-Gary D. Allinson, University of Virginia; "With courage and sensitivity, Orr goes right to the heart of postwar nationalism to show how defeat in the war encouraged pacifist attitudes among ordinary Japanese people that, in turn, provided a cultural logic for a new national identity constructed around a collectivized sense of victimhood. After reading The Victim as Hero, historians of Japan will have to reconsider prevailing assumptions about the forms and functions of Japanese nationalism. This book should be required reading for scholars of nationalism, modern Japanese culture, society and politics, and for anyone who wishes to understand the challenges and possibilities of democracy in contemporary Japan."-Kevin M. Doak, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Title: The Victim as Hero: Ideologies of Peace and ...
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
Publication Date: 2001
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Good

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Book Description University of Hawai i Press, United States, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Since World War II victim consciousness (higaisha ishiki) has been an essential component of Japanese pacifist national identity. In his meticulously crafted narrative and analysis, James Orr reveals how postwar Japanese elites and American occupying authorities collaborated to structure the parameters of remembrance of the war, including the notion that the emperor and his people had been betrayed and duped by militarists. Fluently written and flawlessly executed, The Victim as Hero will contribute greatly to the discourses on nationalism and war responsibility in Japan. Bookseller Inventory # TNP9780824824358

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Book Description University of Hawai i Press, United States, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Since World War II victim consciousness (higaisha ishiki) has been an essential component of Japanese pacifist national identity. In his meticulously crafted narrative and analysis, James Orr reveals how postwar Japanese elites and American occupying authorities collaborated to structure the parameters of remembrance of the war, including the notion that the emperor and his people had been betrayed and duped by militarists. Fluently written and flawlessly executed, The Victim as Hero will contribute greatly to the discourses on nationalism and war responsibility in Japan. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780824824358

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