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Orthodox Interpretation of Japanese War Memories - Essay Example

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Name: College: Tutor: Date: The Orthodox Interpretation of Japanese War Memories Introduction According to Philip A. Seaton, Second World War English speaking allies speaking countries have an orthodox interpretation of the Japanese war memories. Seaton supports this idea through four arguments…
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Orthodox Interpretation of Japanese War Memories

Download file to see previous pages... The other argument is based on the assumption of the Allies that the government of Japan has declined in properly addressing the country’s war responsibilities during the war. It is also the view of the English speaking Allies that the people of Japan do not adequately acknowledge the responsibility of Japan during the war. Hence, the Japanese should accept the responsibility of the country during the war and this will propel the Japanese government doing the ‘right’ things in context of the war (Seaton 2). Seaton is of the view that this interpretation is flawed. He attributes this to the fact that there are two varying proportions of the interpretation. One of the proportions is described as the ‘state-centered approach’ whereby there is the political and parlance of the war memory (Seaton 2). The other is described as the ‘culturally determinist’ approach where it is analyzed in both sociological and anthropological focusing on the characteristics of the Japanese society as unwilling and conforming (Seaton 3). Why this Interpretation is flawed According to Seaton (p. 9), there are three aspects of how this interpretation is flawed. One of the aspects is that it moves precariously between war responsibility and war memories. This is because war responsibility in the current context is highlighted by constantly by political, moral and legal implications of war conduct. On the other hand, war memories are concerned about the way people see past events from the perspective of today’s context. Although the two aspects are related to some aspect, it is important to note that they are very distinct from each. Seaton (p. 9) asserts that while the Japanese government may refuse to compensate, there are Japanese people and the government that remembers the war. Hence, the way Japanese people feel about the way their government compensating could be based on their memory of the war. The development of memory studies has been greatly enhanced by the society acknowledging the fact that history is based on the environment that is changing constantly. Hence, technological, political, and social environments have affected the way many people are viewing past events. Hence, the Japanese cannot be limited to the environments that were present during the Second World War. There are two paradigms within which war memory and commemoration are studied which are; the political and psychological paradigms (Seaton 9). Seaton in Chapter 3 further argues that although Japan has been accused frequently of failing to address the past, the orthodoxy fails to note the main fact that ‘addressing the past’ is kind of unhelpful because it puts the roles of responsibility and memory into one and in so doing smudges the difference between individual, collective and official narratives. The orthodoxy has put across many texts that argue about Japan failing to address the war responsibility issues officially which has in turn spilled over to the orthodoxy claiming that Japan has an inadequate memory. This has led to observers of the Japanese people on how they remember the war being obscured. It is in this context that the orthodoxy has also ignored to look into how other nations handles their war memory including the English speaking Allies. Hence, the Japanese people are held responsible and in so doing, other nationals who were also responsible for the war have ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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