The Politics of Sentiment in Postcolonial East Asia

Book Pages: 176 Illustrations: 4 illustrations Published: June 2019

Author: Leo T. S. Ching

Asian Studies > East Asia, Cultural Studies, Postcolonial and Colonial Studies

Although the Japanese empire rapidly dissolved following the end of World War II, the memories, mourning, and trauma of the nation's imperial exploits continue to haunt Korea, China, and Taiwan. In Anti-Japan Leo T. S. Ching traces the complex dynamics that shape persisting negative attitudes toward Japan throughout East Asia. Drawing on a mix of literature, film, testimonies, and popular culture, Ching shows how anti-Japanism stems from the failed efforts at decolonization and reconciliation, the Cold War and the ongoing U.S. military presence, and shifting geopolitical and economic conditions in the region. At the same time, pro-Japan sentiments in Taiwan reveal a Taiwanese desire to recoup that which was lost after the Japanese empire fell. Anti-Japanism, Ching contends, is less about Japan itself than it is about the real and imagined relationships between it and China, Korea, and Taiwan. Advocating for forms of healing that do not depend on state-based diplomacy, Ching suggests that reconciliation requires that Japan acknowledge and take responsibility for its imperial history.


"Anti-Japan is a timely analysis of the complex relationships among countries in East Asia as the political and economic power relationship in the region is rapidly reconstructed." — Linda Wang, International Social Science Review

“This creative, thought-provoking, and deeply insightful book speaks to multiple cross-disciplinary audiences, including specialists and general readers in East Asian history, culture, and politics. It would also be of interest to anyone interested in memory, postcolonial studies, nationalism, and postconflict resolution and reconciliation.”

— Seo-Hyun Park, Journal of Asian Studies

Anti-Japan is a timely intervention that unpacks the entangled complexity of contemporary East Asian subjectivities across China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. One of the very few creative authorities on the politics of popular culture, Leo T. S. Ching produces historically and locally grounded work that continues to focus on mental-psychic conditions from which to locate the unresolved contradictions of Japanism and Americanism, as well as sources of hope beyond the nation-state. A must read.” — Kuan-Hsing Chen, author of Asia as Method: Toward Deimperialization

“Filled with innovative, unique, and sensitive insights, Anti-Japan offers a brilliantly crafted critique of nationalist responses to the incomplete decolonization of East Asia following World War II. Leo T. S. Ching interrogates the historicity and limits of these responses while painstakingly excavating the possibilities of reckoning with the violence and trauma produced by Japanese colonialism, imperialism, and militarism. Ching's work is transnational and postnationalist in the best sense.” — Takashi Fujitani, author of Race for Empire: Koreans as Japanese and Japanese as Americans during World War II


Availability: In stock
Price: $23.95
Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Leo T. S. Ching is Associate Professor of Japanese and East Asian Cultural Studies at Duke University and author of Becoming "Japanese": Colonial Taiwan and the Politics of Identity Formation.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments  ix
Introduction. Anti-Japanism (and Pro-Japanism) in East Asia  1
1. When Bruce Lee Meets Gojira: Transimperial Characters, Anti-Japanism, Anti-Americanism, and the Failure of Decolonization  19
2. "Japanese Devils": The Conditions and Limits of Anti-Japanism in China  36
3. Shameful Bodies, Bodily Shame: "Comfort Women" and Anti-Japanism in South Korea  57
4. Colonial Nostalgia or Postcolonial Anxiety: The Dosan Generation In-Between "Retrocession" and "Defeat"  80
5. "In the Name of Love": Critical Regionalism and Co-Viviality in Post-East Asia  98
6. Reconciliation Otherwise: Intimacy, Indigeneity, and the Taiwan Difference  115
Epilogue. From Anti-Japanism to Decolonizing Democracy: Youth Protests in East Asia  132
Notes  143
References  153
Index  161
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing
Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0289-5 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0188-1
Publicity material

Funding Information

Publication of this open monograph was the result of Duke University's participation in TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem), a collaboration of the Association of American Universities, the Association of University Presses, and the Association of Research Libraries. TOME aims to expand the reach of long-form humanities and social science scholarship including digital scholarship. Additionally, the program looks to ensure the sustainability of university press monograph publishing by supporting the highest quality scholarship and promoting a new ecology of scholarly publishing in which authors' institutions bear the publication costs. Funding from Duke University Libraries made it possible to open this publication to the world.