This handbook explores trauma in East Asia from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century, assessing how victims, perpetrators and societies have responded to such experiences and to what extent the legacies still resonate today.

Mapping the trauma-scape of East Asia from an interdisciplinary perspective, including anthropologists, historians, film and literary critics, scholars of law, media and education, political scientists and sociologists, this book significantly enhances understandings of the region’s traumatic pasts and how those memories have since been suppressed, exhumed, represented and disputed. In Asia’s contested memory-scape there is much at stake for perpetrators, their victims and heirs to their respective traumas. The scholarly research in this volume examines the silencing and distortion of traumatic pasts and sustained efforts to interrogate denial and impunity in the search for accountability.

Addressing collective traumas from across East Asia (China, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam), this book is a valuable resource for students and scholars of Trauma and Memory Studies, Asian Studies and Contemporary Asian History more broadly.

chapter 1|8 pages

Contesting and Commemorating Trauma in East Asia

An Introduction

part 1|175 pages


chapter 2|12 pages

Surviving a World Destroyed

Existential Trauma in Hibakusha Experience

chapter 4|14 pages

Trauma, Reconciliation, Social Justice and Artistic Commentary

Tomiyama Taeko's Strategies for Repair through Her Visual Art

chapter 5|13 pages

Unwriting the Wrongs

History, Trauma and Memories of Violence in Germany and Japan

chapter 7|15 pages

Overcoming Trauma at Chidorigafuchi

Japan’s ‘National Cemetery' and the Legacies of the Asia-Pacific War

chapter 8|10 pages

Telling Stories of War Trauma

Japan's Popular Manga

chapter 9|12 pages

Back to the Future

Contested Wartime Trauma in Japanese Popular Culture

chapter 11|11 pages

Trauma in Japan's Hope

chapter 12|12 pages


The Trauma of Betrayal

chapter 14|11 pages

Memories and Displays of Japan's Early Industrialisation through the Production of Silk

Tomioka Silk Mill, Nomugi Pass and WWII Propaganda

chapter 15|15 pages

Fukushima's Traumatic Legacies

part 2|75 pages

China/Hong Kong

chapter 16|12 pages

Hong Kong as Pillar of Shame

Trauma Foretold, Suppressed and Compounded

chapter 17|13 pages

The Nazi Holocaust in a Chinese Mirror

Shanghai's Jewish Refugees Museum

chapter 18|12 pages

Memory and Mythmaking

World War II in Chinese Cinema

chapter 19|13 pages

Martyrs, Military Heroes and Massacre Victims

The Complex Memorial Terrain of Lushun, 1894–Present

chapter 20|13 pages

Narrating Trauma

Memories of the Atrocities under the Japanese Occupation of Sanzao Island

part 3|40 pages


chapter 23|13 pages

Transitional Justice in Taiwan

Truth and Reconciliation in a Contested State

part 4|66 pages

South Korea

chapter 25|15 pages

Contesting Trauma in Court

Korean Historical Claims and Their Radiating Effects

chapter 26|12 pages

Commemorative Witness

‘Gwangju in 1980’ and Unresolved Transitional Justice in Twenty-First Century South Korea

chapter 27|14 pages

The Politics of Forgetting

Unmaking Memories and Reacting to Memory-Place-Making

part 5|49 pages

Wider East Asia

chapter 31|12 pages

Trauma – Prolonged and Accumulative

The Impact of Singapore Detention without Trial from the 1948 Malayan Emergency

chapter 32|13 pages

East Asia's Vietnam

Trauma Returns and the Sub-Empire of Memory

chapter 33|8 pages

Wounds to the Soul

A View from Vietnam