For many years after the end of World War II, the internment of Allied civilians by the Japanese in the ‘Far East’ was peripheral to war histories in Britain and Europe. For Europeans, the war to be won was against fascism in Europe: events elsewhere were sideshows. This allowed little space for the stories of people who had experienced an entirely different kind of war, in a very different geographical zone.1 One recent book by an American scholar suggests that in Britain and the United States there has been something akin to a historical ‘amnesia’ about the Pacific War, constituting as it did a humiliating defeat (at least initially), a challenge to white supremacy in the region and for the British, one of the final nails in the coffin of Empire.2