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Bodies of Memory

1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0691049120
ISBN-10: 0691049122
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Editorial Reviews


"With this book, Yoshikuni Igarashi contributes significantly to our understanding of the emergence and solidification of memories of the war in post-war Japan. . . . Absorbing and thought-provoking reading."--Beatrice Trefalt, Japanese Studies

From the Inside Flap

"An innovative attempt to trace the "absent presence of war memories" in the cultural discourse of postwar Japan. The author's juxtaposition of examples from different cultural registers is distinctive, persuasive, and provocative, and the book is a pleasure to read."--Carol Gluck, Columbia University

"This is history writing at its best. The author maintains a subtle tension between historic continuities and postwar discontinuity, between interpretation and documentation, between political and cultural analysis, between literary and mass cultural analysis, and between the posited and resurrected body of the Japanese nation. His central concern for remembering postwar forgetting takes us from wartime exclusion of the victims of leprosy and mental illness under the Eugenics Law, to the cleansing of the postwar process of discursive formation of the 1950s and 1960s that brought us such figures as RikidÇzan, the Korean wrestler passing for Japanese. The treatment of the Japanese body and of Japanese bodies is a compelling narrative of the "foundational narrative" of the U.S.- Japan relationship that has informed so much of postwar Japanese cultural and economic recovery and forgetting, a remembering of Japanese suffering made possible by the forgetting of the colonized Asian body. Bodies of Memory thus provides a powerful explanation as to why so many in Japan refuse to accept Japan's modern history in Asia. It belongs alongside the new anthropology of Japan that is uncovering the layers of consciousness of postwar Japan, for Igarashi shows us how trauma may have been forgotten but not abandoned."--Miriam Silverberg, University of California, Los Angeles

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (September 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691049122
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691049120
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,287,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By filmnoirfan on February 5, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If phrases like "always already absent" and references to how "Japan had assimilated the alterity of the other" appeal to you, then you will love this book.
But once you get past his trendy lingo, Igarashi has some compelling things to say about postwar Japan and how it has effectively supressed its war responsibility in modern Japanese consciousness. I particularly enjoyed his discussion of the Tokyo Olympics
While I would not consider this "history writing at its best" (see John Dower for that), I do feel the book is a welcome, if at times tiresome, addition to Japanese history studies.
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