EVENTS

Events

The Fanning the Flames Speaker Series highlights conversations with leading scholars of modern East Asian history, art, and propaganda and is presented in conjunction with the launch of the book, website, and physical exhibition.

Upcoming Events

Japanese Imperial Navy Photo
December 7, 2021 | 3:00 pm | Online
Historiography of the Pacific War: Past Accomplishments and Future Challenges

On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the Hoover Institution Library & Archives is pleased to host a panel of leading military historians of the Pacific War. This panel takes a fresh look at research trends and accomplishments in the past eight decades and discusses new challenges and missions for the next generation of students and researchers of World War II in Asia and the Pacific.

 

This event also marks Hoover's recent acquisition of the Mitsuo Fuchida Papers, generously gifted by his family. Captain Fuchida, the lead bomber aviator in the first wave of the Pearl Harbor attack, also gained new prominence in the postwar period due, among other things, to the publication of Midway: The Battle that Doomed Japan, the Japanese Navy's Story (1955), a highly influential account of the Battle of Midway albeit with its strengths and flaws. Taking Fuchidaʻs controversial legacy as the point of departure, this panel reflects upon the complex process of the trans-Pacific knowledge production and transfer concerning the Pacific War in the past eight decades and considers the future directions in researching World War II in Asia and the Pacific.

Professor in the GW Department of History, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

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Ronald Spector
Ronald Spector

Talk Title: Two Events and an Iconic Image”: Remembering, Forgetting, and Reimagining the Asia-Pacific War at Eighty

This paper examines the ways in which the Asia–Pacific War has been remembered,forgotten and reimagined by historians, storytellers, and the public in the United States after eighty years of history writing, consumer art, and popular memory. It argues that, in the United States, as living memory of the conflict becomes rare, popular images and understanding of the war have become weirdly truncated. On the other hand, academic understanding of the war has significantly broadened and includes work that examines the familiar and unfamiliar aspects of the conflict from a variety of national perspectives. At the same time many other countries of the Pacific rim, where the war was for long regarded as a painful, destructive, and sometimes embarrassing experience to be best forgotten, have more recently come to view their nation’s war years as bearing an important relationship to contemporary political, social, or cultural issues.

 

RONALD SPECTOR (Ph.D, Yale) is Emeritus Professor of History and International Relations in the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University. During his thirty years in the Elliott School he taught undergraduate and graduate courses with emphasis on twentieth century military developments and confrontations. He previously taught at the University of Alabama and at LSU and served as Director of Naval History in the U.S. Department of Defense.

Beside his recent book, In the Ruins of Empire: The Japanese Surrender and the Battle for Postwar Asia, he is the author of five other works. His best known books are Eagle Against the Sun: The American War With Japan, which was a main selection of the Book of the Month Club and winner of the Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Prize in Naval History, and After Tet: The Bloodiest Year in Vietnam. His book, At War at Sea: Sailors and Naval Combat in the Twentieth Century received the 2002 Distinguished Book Award of the Society for Military History. His work has also appeared in French, Hungarian, Japanese, and Vietnamese editions.

Spector has been a Fulbright Lecturer in India, Israel and Singapore, “Class of 1957 Distinguished Visiting Professor of Naval History” at The U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Visiting Professor of Strategy at The National War College, and Harold K. Johnson Visiting Professor of Military History at the U.S. Army War College. He was also Distinguished Guest Professor at Keio University in Tokyo, visiting professor at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, and visiting professor at Princeton. In 2012, he received the Samuel Eliot Morison Prize of the Society for Military History awarded for career achievement in that field.

A Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) in the Marine Corps Reserve, Spector served on active duty in Vietnam, 1968-1969, during the 1982-1983 Lebanon-Grenada operations and during the Gulf War. He is a graduate of the Expeditionary Warfare School at Quantico and served two tours on the Adjunct Faculty of the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College.

Adjunct lecturer for the U.S. Naval War College

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Jonathan Parshall
Jonathan Parshall

Talk Title: My Life With Fuchida: Modern Pacific War Historiography and the Quest for Source Diversity

JONATHAN PARSHALL is co-author (with Anthony Tully) of Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway. He is a lecturer for the U.S. Naval War College, and a frequent speaker for the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, National WWII Museum, the National Museum of the Pacific War, and others. He has been widely published in numerous historical journals and magazines, including the U.S. Naval War College Review, Naval History magazine, Naval Institute Proceedings, WWII magazine, Wartime (the magazine of the Australian War Memorial), The Northern Mariner, and others. Parshall has appeared on NetFlix, the BBC, the Smithsonian Channel, National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, History Channel, and the BBC. He is currently working on his second book, a history of the year 1942.

Military historian, lawyer, and U.S. Army veteran

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Richard Frank
Richard Frank

Talk Title: Rags to Itches: The Historiography of the Asia Pacific War

Richard B. Frank is an internationally renowned expert on the Pacific war. After graduating from the University of Missouri, he was commissioned in the US Army, in which he served for nearly four years, including a tour of duty in the Republic of Vietnam as an aero rifle platoon leader with the 101st Airborne Division. Frank completed studies at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC, and is the author of Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire (Random House, 1999), which received the Harry S. Truman Book Award. He recently published, Tower of Skulls: A History of the Asia–Pacific War, Volume I: July 1937–May 1942 (W. W. Norton, Incorporated, 2021).

Professor of Modern Japan, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

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Yuma Totani
Yuma Totani

MODERATOR

YUMA TOTANI is a historian of modern Japan and a researcher of post-WWII Allied war crimes trials in the Asia-Pacific region. She is a co-founder of the War Crimes Documentation Initiative (WCDI) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, a digital humanities laboratory that develops innovative digital tools for promoting the teaching and research of WWII-era war crimes in the Asia-Pacific region. Her publications include The Tokyo War Crimes Trial: The Pursuit of Justice in the Wake of World War II (Harvard University Asia Center, 2008), Justice in Asia and the Pacific Region, 1945-1952: Allied War Crimes Prosecutions (Cambridge University Press, 2015), and The Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal: Law, History, and Jurisprudence (co-authored with David Cohen; Cambridge University Press, 2018). Her career mission is to undertake a series of multi-year research and book publications that help illuminate the conditions, circumstances, and consequences of Japanese war and war crimes, and assessing the implications of our historical knowledge of WWII for strengthening the principles of international justice, accountability, and the rule of law in the twenty-first century.

Past Events

Cossak's Breakfast
Holding the Sword of Damocles: Japan in Russian and Soviet Popular Images, 1904-1945
11.5. 2021
Cossak's Breakfast
November 5, 2021 | 12:00 pm | Online
Holding the Sword of Damocles: Japan in Russian and Soviet Popular Images, 1904-1945

On January 11, 1934, the Soviet newspaper Izvestiia (News), published a political caricature entitled “The Sword of Damocles.” Drawn by the paper’s chief political caricaturist, Boris Efimov, the image is dramatic: a ghost-like samurai clenching a sword labeled voina (war) looms over the crib of the 1934 New Year’s baby. Just over three years later, the same paper published a caricature by the same artist. “A Little Beast with a Huge Appetite” features a Japanese officer--who bears a resemblance to Emperor Hirohito--clutching at the globe with bloody, beast-like hands.These images appeared at a time when Soviet media outlets increasingly warned against the perceived peril posed by Japan in the 1930s. The two images referenced above perfectly capture the dominant themes in Soviet popular depictions of Japan and the Japanese, characterizations that tapped into visual stereotypes that had first appeared during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-5. Japan and the Japanese were both threatening and weak, wielders of a perilous sword of Damocles, and little beasts all at once. This lecture will examine these seemingly contradictory depictions of Japan in Soviet culture and explore their roots in the early 20th century and the racial stereotypes that grew significantly after the Russo-Japanese War. Soviet propaganda continued to fan its own flames about Japan, in other words, and further spread pernicious perceptions first imagined in Imperial Russian propaganda.

Walter E. Havighurst Professor of History and Director, Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies, Miami University

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Stephen Norris
Stephen Norris

Stephen M. Norris is the Walter E. Havighurst Professor of Russian History and the Director of the Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies at Miami University. Norris’s research focuses on modern Russian history with an emphasis on visual culture and propaganda since the 19th Century. He is the author of, A War of Images: Russian Popular Prints, Wartime Culture, and National Identity, 1812-1945 (Northern Illinois University Press, 2006), and Blockbuster History in the New Russia: Movies, Memory, Patriotism (Indiana University Press, 2012).

Robert Conquest Curator for Russia and Eurasia, Hoover Institution Library & Archives

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Anatol Shmelev
Anatol Shmelev

Anatol Shmelev is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, Robert Conquest Curator of the Russia and Eurasia Collection at Hoover’s Library & Archives, and the project archivist for its Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Collection. Shmelev’s expertise is in twentieth-century Russian history, specializing in the Russian Civil War. As curator, he is principally responsible for acquiring archival materials relating to Russia, the Soviet Union, and the independent states that emerged from the USSR after 1991.

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A Visual Revolution: The Emperor in Popular Prints
10.5. 2021
2019c113_027_crop
October 5, 2021 | 4:00 pm | Online
A Visual Revolution: The Emperor in Popular Prints

The popularization of images of the reigning emperor of Japan was one among many radical changes of the Meiji period. But it was not a simple matter of indiscriminately showing his face and form in commercial prints. This talk investigates the various ways that the emperor became visible and legible, by considering Japanese and foreign conventions of portraiture and visual representation. It also considers the effects and limitations of the new visibility. This event also celebrates the launch of the Fanning the Flames: Propaganda in Modern Japan website and online exhibition.

Alice Y. Tseng is the department chair of History of Art and Architecture at Boston University.

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Alice Y. Tseng
Alice Y. Tseng

Alice Y. Tseng is the department chair of History of Art and Architecture at Boston University. Her research focuses on Japan from the nineteenth century to the present, especially the history of cities, buildings, and the visual arts in response to exchanges with Europe and the United States. Other areas of interest are histories of collections and exhibitions, and the visual and spatial representations of Japan’s modern monarchy. Tseng is the author of The Imperial Museums of Meiji Japan: Architecture and the Art of the Nation (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008), Kyoto Visual Culture in the Early Edo and Meiji Periods: The Arts of Reinvention, coedited with M. Pitelka (Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2016), and Modern Kyoto: Building for Ceremony and Commemoration, 1868–1940 (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2018). Her research has appeared in major disciplinary journals, including the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, the Art Bulletin, the Review of Japanese Culture and Society, and the Journal of Japanese Studies.

Bowman Family Professor of History, Stanford University

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Matthew Sommer
Matthew Sommer

Matthew Sommer is the Bowman Family professor of History at Stanford University. He is a social and legal historian of China in the Qing dynasty (1644-1912) whose research focuses on gender, sexuality, and family. He is the author of Sex, Law, and Society in Late Imperial China (Stanford University Press, 2000) and Polyandry an Wife-Selling in Qing Dynasty China: Survival Strategies and Judicial Interventions (University of California Press, 2015).

Anchors of History
Anchors of History: The Long Shadow of Japanese Imperial Propaganda
06.1. 2021
Anchors of History
June 1, 2021 | 12:00 pm | Online
Anchors of History: The Long Shadow of Japanese Imperial Propaganda

Barak Kushner considers war booty collected by the Japanese military navy taken from the Qing Empire at the end of the First Sino-Japanese War and displayed for the purpose of state propaganda. Half a century later much of this material was repatriated to China and is now poised in a revolutionary military museum in central Beijing. A discussion with Michael Auslin about the relics of war follows Kushner’s lecture.

Barak Kushner is professor of East Asian history and the chair of Japanese Studies in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge.

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BARAK KUSHNER
BARAK KUSHNER

Barak Kushner is professor of East Asian history and the chair of Japanese Studies in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge. He has edited numerous books and written several monographs, including the award winning Men to Devils, Devils to Men: Japanese War Crimes and Chinese Justice (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2015). In 2020 he hosted several episodes of a major Chinese documentary on Japanese war crimes and is currently writing a book titled The Construction of Injustice in East Asia: Japan versus Its Neighbors. Kushner was a visiting fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, 2019–20, and a visiting professor at Waseda University in Tokyo. He is also a guest professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He received the fifteenth Nakasone Yasuhiro Award for Excellence in 2019. His research projects have received funding from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, the Toshiba Foundation, and the European Research Council. Abridged Barak Kushner is professor of East Asian history and the chair of Japanese Studies in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge. He has edited numerous books and written several monographs, including the award winning Men to Devils, Devils to Men: Japanese War Crimes and Chinese Justice (2015). In 2020 he hosted several episodes of a major Chinese documentary on Japanese war crimes and is currently writing a book titled The Construction of Injustice in East Asia: Japan versus Its Neighbors. He received the fifteenth Nakasone Yasuhiro Award for Excellence in 2019. His research projects have received funding from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, the Toshiba Foundation, and the European Research Council.

Michael R. Auslin is the Payson J. Treat Distinguished Research Fellow in Contemporary Asia at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

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Michael R. Auslin
Michael R. Auslin

Michael R. Auslin is the Payson J. Treat Distinguished Research Fellow in Contemporary Asia at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. A historian by training, he specializes in US policy in Asia and geopolitical issues in the Indo-Pacific region. His publications include Negotiating with Imperialism: The Unequal Treaties and the Culture of Japanese Diplomacy (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004) and Asia’s New Geopolitics: Essays on Reshaping the Indo-Pacific (Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 2020). Auslin was an associate professor of history at Yale University, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo. He is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the senior adviser for Asia at the Halifax International Security Forum, and a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. He has been named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, a Fulbright scholar, and a Marshall Memorial Fellow by the German Marshall Fund, among other honors. Abridged: Michael R. Auslin is the Payson J. Treat Distinguished Research Fellow in Contemporary Asia at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. A historian by training, he specializes in US policy in Asia and geopolitical issues in the Indo-Pacific region. His publications include Negotiating with Imperialism: The Unequal Treaties and the Culture of Japanese Diplomacy (2004) and Asia’s New Geopolitics: Essays on Reshaping the Indo-Pacific (2020). He is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the senior adviser for Asia at the Halifax International Security Forum, and a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. He has been named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, a Fulbright scholar, and a Marshall Memorial Fellow by the German Marshall Fund.

June10-2021
“War Fever” as Fueled by the Media and Popular Culture: The Path Taken by Meiji Japan's Policies of “Enrich the Country” and “Strengthen the Armed Forces”
06.10. 2021
June10-2021
June 10, 2021 | 12:00 pm | Online
“War Fever” as Fueled by the Media and Popular Culture: The Path Taken by Meiji Japan's Policies of “Enrich the Country” and “Strengthen the Armed Forces”

Professor Toshihiko Kishi discusses Japan and East Asia more than 100 years ago, and the relationship between power, media, and popular culture. In the 1890s, the Meiji government of Japan started on the path of modernization and proceeded to invade the Korean Peninsula, China, and Taiwan. The "war fever" fanned by the government was closely related to the emerging technologies of publishing and printing. Following Kishi’s presentation, Kay Ueda moderates questions from the audience.

Toshihiko Kishi is a professor at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University.

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TOSHIHIKO KISHI
TOSHIHIKO KISHI

Toshihiko Kishi is a professor at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University. His research covers 20th-century Asian history, East Asian regional studies, and media studies. He is the author of Visual Media in Manchukuo: Posters, Postcards and Stamps (2010), East Asian Popular Songs Hour: Crossing Boundaries and Crossing Musicians (2013), and The Postwar History of Sino-Japanese Submarine Cables: Normalization of Diplomatic Relations and the Rebirth of Communications (2015), and is the coeditor of Enlightening through TV: USCAR Public Diplomacy, 1950–1972 (2020). Professor Kishi is also a member of the Science Council of Japan and a senior researcher at the Research Center for Science Systems, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Curator of the Japanese Diaspora Collection at the Hoover Institution Library & Archives

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Kaoru (Kay) Ueda
Kaoru (Kay) Ueda

Kaoru (Kay) Ueda is the curator of the Japanese Diaspora Collection at the Hoover Institution Library & Archives. She curated many of the materials used in Fanning the Flames: Propaganda in Modern Japan (Hoover Institution Press, 2021)  and forthcoming exhibition. Ueda manages the Japanese Diaspora Initiative, endowed by an anonymous gift to promote the study of overseas Japanese history during the Empire of Japan period. She is also the editor of On a Collision Course: The Dawn of Japanese Migration in the Nineteenth Century (Hoover Institution Press, 2020).

Aug26-2021
Kamishibai (paper plays) & the Mobilization of Women in Wartime Japan
08.26. 2021
Aug26-2021
August 26, 2021 | 12:00 pm |
Kamishibai (paper plays) & the Mobilization of Women in Wartime Japan

Women were crucial to Japan’s war effort from 1937, when the China War started, until 1945 when WWII ended. Whether organizing neighborhood meetings, laboring in factories, or just trying to feed their families under conditions of increasing food shortages, women had important roles to play in sustaining the war. Kamishibai (paper plays) were a propaganda medium considered especially appropriate for the mobilization of women. This presentation explores the implicit and explicit messages to women in wartime kamishibai.

Head of Asian Studies Department and Professor of Modern Japanese Literature and Popular Culture, University of British Columbia

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Sharalyn Orbaugh
Sharalyn Orbaugh

Sharalyn Orbaugh specializes in modern Japanese literature and popular culture and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of British Columbia where she also serves as head of the Asian Studies department. She is the author of Japanese Fiction of the Allied Occupation (Brill, 2007) and Propaganda Performed: Kamishibai in Japan’s Fifteen Year War (Brill, 2015) and editor of a forthcoming reference work, The Columbia Companion to Modern Japanese Literature. She received her PhD in Far Eastern Languages and Literatures from the University of Michigan, and spent six years at UC Berkeley before joining UBC in 1997.

Curator of the Japanese Diaspora Collection at the Hoover Institution Library & Archives

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Kaoru (Kay) Ueda
Kaoru (Kay) Ueda

Kaoru (Kay) Ueda is the curator of the Japanese Diaspora Collection at the Hoover Institution Library & Archives. She curated many of the materials used in Fanning the Flames: Propaganda in Modern Japan (Hoover Institution Press, 2021)  and forthcoming exhibition. Ueda manages the Japanese Diaspora Initiative, endowed by an anonymous gift to promote the study of overseas Japanese history during the Empire of Japan period. She is also the editor of On a Collision Course: The Dawn of Japanese Migration in the Nineteenth Century (Hoover Institution Press, 2020).