The 74th GJS SeminarDoes Japanese Society Remember Chinese Returnees?

Date and time: May 25, 2021 (Tue.), 4:00-5:00PM
Venue: Online via Zoom
Speaker: Satoru Yamazaki (Ph.D. student, Graduate School of Social Sciences, Hitotsubashi University; JSPS Research Fellowship for Young Scientists)
Language: Japanese
This is an online event with Zoom. Please register here:

Since the 1980s, the mass media in Japan has been reporting on Japanese orphans and women left in China when WWII ended in 1945 visiting Japan and returning permanently, which has attracted much attention. Their visits reminded people in Japan once more of "the last war" and "Manchuria." Now, almost forty years later, Chinese returnees are being forgotten once again. Unlike Okinawa, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and so on, the events related to the Chinese returnees are rarely associated with and recalled on specific dates, even though they are mentioned in the same context of World War II. It is a big challenge to sustain the history of returnees as public memory; even passing on memories in the families is becoming difficult. Factors such as the aging of the first generation, the trauma of the first and second generations, different languages used by family members, and the lack of an identity for Chinese returnees have made it difficult for the third generation to communicate their grandparents' experiences of being left in China and their parents' experiences of crossing national borders. Who will be able to remember the history of being left in China and how? The purpose of this presentation is to discuss Chinese returnees and their memories based on the results of interviews with the third generation.

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Organizer: Global Japan Studies Network (GJS)
Co-organizer: Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA)
Contact: gjs[at]