Authors: Eunbong Choi, Minju Lee
This paper focuses on the politics of memory in East Asia with a new perspective. The politics of memory in this area had shown the ‘path dependence’ in accordance with the tradition of “state-centralism.” However, recently, the epistemic approach of militarized experiences and memories of East Asia has been diversified. As part of the transition, new territoriality of remembrance appears in East Asia’s the post-Cold War era. This argument observes “democratization of memory” phenomenon as a partial dissolution of “state-centralism” in East Asia. Thus, the paper investigates collective memory of East Asia regarding two aspects – the time and range of location. At first, this paper scopes on the three times – the Japanese colonial period, the Cold War, and the post-Cold War – and some critical junctures in each period. Simultaneously, the discussion concentrates on three locations – Jeju, Nanjing (Nanking), and especially Okinawa belonging to three major states in East Asia. These locations are symbolic places where the reterritorialized memory is embedded in local culture. Consequently, this study aims to find how to solve historical and cultural conflicts of the region by examining the characteristics of that phenomenon.
Keywords: memory struggles, historical institutionalism; democratization of memory; the post-Cold War era of East Asia