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Accounting for Silence: Narration, Nation, and the Politics of Redress in China and Japan
Yukiko Koga, Brown University
Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=FO-50146-11
Accounting for Silence: Inheritance, Debt, and the Moral Economy of Legal Redress in China and Japan (Article)
Title: Accounting for Silence: Inheritance, Debt, and the Moral Economy of Legal Redress in China and Japan
Author: Yukiko KOGA
Abstract: Legal efforts seeking official apology and compensation for Japanese colonial violence have, since the 1990s, become a prime site of Chinese and Japanese attempts to come to terms with the past. This ethnography explores what it means to legally account for Japanese imperialism decades after the original violence ended with Japan’s defeat in World War II. Examination of recent compensation lawsuits filed by Chinese war victims against the Japanese government and corporations shows how legal interventions publicly reveal artificially separated, yet deeply intertwined moral and monetary economies that present postwar compensation as a question of the generational transfer of unaccounted-for pasts and accompanying debts. I elucidate how accounts and accounting address overdue responsibility for postwar generations and, against the background of generational shift and the changing balance of economic power between China and Japan, show how the crux of this issue has shifted from apology to inheritance and accountability.
Primary URL: http://www.americanethnologist.org/
Primary URL Description: The website for _American Ethnologist_, the journal for the American Ethnological Society.
Periodical Title: American Ethnologist
Publisher: American Anthropological Association
Between the Law: The Unmaking of Empire and Law’s Imperial Amnesia (Article)
Title: Between the Law: The Unmaking of Empire and Law’s Imperial Amnesia
Author: Yukiko Koga
Abstract: Asian victims of Japanese imperialism have filed lawsuits against the Japanese government and corporations since the 1990s, which became prime sites for redress decades after Japan’s defeat in World War II. As this ethnography demonstrates, this process paradoxically exposes a legal lacuna within this emergent transnational legal space, with plaintiffs effectively caught between the law, instead of standing before the law. Exploring this absence of law, I map out a post-imperial legal space, created through the erasure of imperial and colonial subjects in the legal framework after empire. Between the law is an optic that makes visible uneven legal terrains which embody temporal and spatial disjuncture, rupture, and asymmetry. The role of law in post-imperial transitions remains underexplored in literatures on transnational law, legal imperialism, postcolonialism, and transitional justice. I demonstrate how, at the intersection of law and economy, post-imperial reckoning is emerging as a new legal frontier, putting at stake law’s imperial amnesia.
Primary URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/lsi.12173/abstract
Primary URL Description: Journal page
Periodical Title: Law & Social Inquiry
Publisher: American Bar Foundation (ABF)
Inheritance of Loss: China, Japan, and the Political Economy of Redemption after Empire (Book)
Title: Inheritance of Loss: China, Japan, and the Political Economy of Redemption after Empire
Author: Yukiko Koga
Abstract: How do contemporary generations come to terms with losses inflicted by imperialism, colonialism, and war that took place decades ago? How do descendants of perpetrators and victims establish new relations in today’s globalized economy? With Inheritance of Loss, Yukiko Koga approaches these questions through the unique lens of inheritance, focusing on Northeast China, the former site of the Japanese puppet state Manchukuo, where municipal governments now court Japanese as investors and tourists. As China transitions to a market-oriented society, this region is restoring long-neglected colonial-era structures to boost tourism and inviting former colonial industries to create special economic zones, all while inadvertently unearthing chemical weapons abandoned by the Imperial Japanese Army at the end of World War II.
Inheritance of Loss chronicles these sites of colonial inheritance––tourist destinations, corporate zones, and mustard gas exposure sites––to illustrate attempts by ordinary Chinese and Japanese to reckon with their shared yet contested pasts. In her explorations of everyday life, Koga directs us to see how the violence and injustice that occurred after the demise of the Japanese Empire compound the losses that later generations must account for, and inevitably inherit.
Primary URL: http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/I/bo25122530.html
Primary URL Description: The University of Chicago Press webpage.
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Type: Single author monograph
Copy sent to NEH?: No