Embattled Memories, Ersatz Histories

Sabine Frühstück

in Uneasy Warriors

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2007 | ISBN: 9780520247949
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520939646 | DOI:
Embattled Memories, Ersatz Histories

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This chapter asks how the military valorizes a past that is marked by defeat. Looking at base museums against the backdrop of more prominent war and military museums, it traces numerous instances of the historization and dehistorization within and around the Self-Defense Forces (SDF). It argues that the SDF tries to forge a communal memory to increase service members' morale and enable them to reposition themselves in Japanese society and the international security landscape. Base museums as the main sites of these efforts employ three strategies of representation—locality, historicity, and symbolism—that help humanize Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) members and reconcile the relationship between the IJA and the SDF.

Keywords: base museums; war museums; military museums; valor; Self-Defense Forces; service members; communal memory; Imperial Japanese Army

Chapter.  11024 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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