Conférencier : Ran Zwigenberg (Assistant Professor of Asian Studies, History and Jewish Studies, Pennsylvania State University)
Cette conférence présente un ouvrage en cours de parution.
Both home and abroad, Japan’s castles serve as prominent symbols of local, regional, and national identity. Castles occupy the center of most major Japanese cities and are universally recognizable as sites of heritage and as a link to the nation’s past. The current prominence of castles obscures their troubled modern history. After the restoration of 1868, castles, no longer of immediate military significance, became symbols of authority, on one hand, and of vaunted tradition on the other. Castles were major sites of exhibitions, where they were often contrasted with Japan’s achievements in acquiring modern technology, serving as potent illustrations of Wakon-yōsai (Japanese spirit and Western technology). As the specific role castles played changed over time, they became sites of fierce contention. Particularly, castles were a major factor in the militarization of Japanese society before the Second World War and, after 1945, were important tools for demilitarizing Japan both physically and symbolically to turn it into a “nation of peace and culture.” This talk examines Japan’s castles from the late nineteenth century to the present to reconsider narratives of continuity and change in modern Japan; examining the changing role of castles in Japan’s troubled politics of history.
Ran Zwigenberg est l’auteur de Hiroshima: The Origins of Global Memory Culture, Cambridge University Press, 2014.