Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

DOJSFL Report Summary

Project reference: 313382
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC

Mid-Term Report Summary - DOJSFL (The Dissolution of the Japanese Empire and the Struggle for Legitimacy in Postwar East Asia, 1945-1965)

This project has brought an important historical spotlight back to postwar Japan, a nation whose policies and actions caused fissures in the geo-political and economic fabric of the Far East and world. I successfully established a research group renowned as the major European-based historical team analyzing the impact of Japan’s failed empire. This research has begun to investigate the history of and political context in which Japan managed and was implicated in war crimes trials in the years following World War II. We are accomplishing what was planned and excitingly have opened up new avenues for collaboration and original scholarship in several areas.

The group is currently comprised of one postgraduate student and 3 postdocs, who are all publishing and presenting their research at international gatherings. One previous postdoc, Dr. Lily Chang, is now employed as a Lecturer of Chinese History at University College London. We planned that the PI would published his major monograph on the topic and he did, along with one co-edited volume and a major translation. Additionally, the PI has penned 4 peer reviewed book chapters and one peer reviewed journal article. Arnaud Doglia, a postdoc, planned to publish a major work and he submitted his monograph to the publisher. Deokhyo Choi, a postdoc, scheduled to produce a journal article and he is about to submit. The first planned international conference of the project, “Breakdown of the Japanese Empire and the Search for Legitimacy ” was held September 20-23, 2014, at Cambridge University, and successfully managed discussion in Japanese and English, while pushing forward debates on new scholarship. The planned edited volume of the conference, comprised of 16 chapters, is under contract with Routledge Press, and will be published in the autumn of 2016 under the title, The Fall of Imperial Japan and the Postwar Struggle for Legitimacy. The PI and Sherzod Muminov, a postdoc, are the editors. The project has mounted a greatly detailed website, announcing all of its events, descriptions of activities, publications and introducing each member (www.warcrimesandempire.com). It serves as a major portal for publicizing and helping us link with scholars around the world as well as strengthening external partnerships.

The team is hard at work collaborating with international academic visitors and over the last 30 months we have hosted twenty interdisciplinary workshops with researchers and students from Australia, Europe, America, China, Japan, Korea in several languages including English, Chinese, Japanese. These workshops were not originally planned but developed from having many researchers learn about the team and wanting to participate. We have gathered historians of the Cold War, as well as area and regional specialists, to compare and contrast our findings with those of political scientists and legal specialists. In addition, the group has held collaborative workshops with academic groups in Taiwan, Ireland, and Germany in an effort to more intensively connect with similar research groups and their findings.

The new connections established have helped push the project forward in unexpected ways. This does not change the science but suggests additional ways to implement it. Arnaud Doglia’s network of French speaking scholars has created a new paradigm to compare Japan’s post-imperial state with France and researchers in Paris and Geneva are keen to share results. This change encouraged the PI to resume his study of French and this is an unexpected and significant outcome because few teams examine the historical links of decolonization between Europe and East Asia. The invitations from Deokhyo Choi and Korean-Japanese scholars have deepened our understanding in that vein as well. Due to the employment of Sherzod Muminov and his ability to read Russian archives, the PI is now considering that we can no longer avoid thinking about the role the former USSR played in the dissolution of the Japanese empire and Muminov’s inclusion in the planned edited volume will be invaluable in demonstrating that to future researchers.

And outgrowth of the team’s work is the realization that the next step with a project on the dissolution of empire and the implementation of war crimes is to build a digital geo-map database that coordinates a visual representation of borders, atrocities and venues for trials to further assist our understanding of how the lines of authority and the geographical movement of justice actually occurred on the ground. The PI has applied for an outside grant to bring in a GIS historical specialist from abroad to push forward in that direction. We achieved our goals and kept in the budget, perhaps slightly under spending due to the gap between the academic calendar and hiring procedures.

Contact

Schaeffer, Renata (European Policy Manager)
Tel.: +44 1223 333543
Fax: +44 1223 332988
E-mail
Record Number: 183455 / Last updated on: 2016-06-16
Information source: SESAM