Imperial Imaginations: Constructing Japanese History and Memory in the Age of Empire

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Mills, Andrew, East Asian Studies - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Diehl, Chad, AS-History, University of Virginia
Hoffman, Diane, CU-Leadshp, Fndns & Pol Studies, University of Virginia

In the wake of the Meiji Restoration of 1868, Japan dramatically changed from a feudal society into a modern nation-state. Japan, however, did not complete the nation-building process until well after the end of the Meiji Era (1868-1912). Instead, Japanese officials in the Taisho and Showa Eras (1912-1916 and 1917-1945, respectively) continued to build on and repurpose Japanese and Western systems, practices, and ideologies, in an attempt to construct a Japanese collective identity and memory. Building on previous studies in national identity construction, the present thesis focuses on the evolution and transformation of competing national narratives during Japan’s imperial period (1868-1945) and emphasizes the role of educational practices including and beyond formal schooling.

MA (Master of Arts)
memory, history, identity, Japan
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