Considering the intense racial animosity that Dower outlines in his introduction to War Without Mercy, why do you think the Japanese and US governments were so quick to see each other as allies? Do you believe that the transition was as quick for ordinary people? …

This week’s main theme is complicity — that is, how did ordinary Japanese people become implicated (consciously or not) in the act of inflicting colonial violence? Consider this question from the readings for lecture 7. Is there a link between someone like Ayako in Mizoguchi’s Osaka Elegy and Koizumi Kikue…

Think about the relationship between post-World War One capitalist crisis (elaborated by Young), transformations in colonial policy (examined in lecture 6), and new conflicts that emerged between colonial subjects and ordinary Japanese people as a result. …

Put yourself in the shoes of an Ainu person who lived through the extension of the boundaries of the old Tokugawa regime to include your ancestral homelands. How might your life change on an everyday level? …

Think about the way that the Meiji leaders (authors of the documents that have been assigned for lecture 2 above) depicted their predecessors — the Tokugawa regime — as well as the emperor. How do they legitimate their own right to rule? …

Jasmine Duong

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