Contesting Memorial Spaces in the Asia-Pacific

Friday 6 November

08:00 – 08:05    OPENING REMARKS

08:05 – 09:50    PANEL 1: Time to Remember

  • Kyoto’s Mimizuka: Transformation and Contestation Across Four Centuries – Daniel Milne (Kyoto University)
  • Forgetting War and Remembering Progress at the Meiji Shrine – Peter Zarrow (University of Connecticut)
  • Beyond a “Site of Memory”: The Puppet Emperor Palace Museum – Emily Matson (University of Virginia)
  • Three faces of an Asian Hero – Commemorating Koxinga in Contemporary China, Taiwan and Japan – Edward Vickers (Kyushu University)

Moderated by Ran Zwigenberg (Pennsylvania State University)

10:00 – 10:45    SPECIAL SESSION 1

In conversation…

  • Toshiyuki Kono (Executive Vice-President, Kyushu University & President, ICOMOS)
  • Lila Ramos Shahani (former Secretary-General, Philippine National Commission for UNESCO)

Moderated by Edward Boyle (Kyushu University)

11:00 – 12:45    PANEL 2: Geopolitics, Territory and its Memories

  • The geopolitics of geocultural pasts – Tim Winter (University of Western Australia)
  • Nature and Sovereignty Conservation on Japan’s Disputed Islands – Paul Kreitman (Columbia University)
  • Framing the Contention over South China Sea: Territorial Disputes and Social Movements in the Philippines and Vietnam – Ferth Vandensteen Manaysay (Ateneo de Manila University)
  • The Demilitarized Zone in Korea and the Legal Status of the United Nations Command – Hyein Kim (Seoul National University)

Moderated by Nathan Hopson (Nagoya University)

13:30 – 14:55    PANEL 3: Who Remembers?

  • Chinese Sites of Memory: The Recent and the Remote – Yujie Zhu (Australian National University)
  • Negotiating Historical Memory in an Era of Purity Politics: The case of Komeito’s paradoxical position in Okinawa – Anne Mette Fisker-Nielsen (Soka University)
  • Japanese Names in the Asan Bay Overlook Memorial Wall: A Critique on Divided Histories – Maria Cynthia B. Barriga (Waseda University)

Moderated by Shu-Mei Huang (National Taiwan University)

15:05 – 16:45    PANEL 4: Official Memorials & Legitimating Memory

  • Governing Memorial Desire: a case study in the Netherlands – Alana Castro de Azevedo (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
  • Competing Memories of Victor’s Justice vs Aggressive Warfare at Ichigaya Memorial – André Hertrich (Austrian Academy of Sciences)
  • Too Close to the Bone: Augmented positionality amongst Ainu repatriation dichotomies – Nathaniel Thomas Sydenham (SOAS, University of London)

Moderated by Sophie Whiting (University of Bath)

17:00 – 18:30    SPECIAL SESSION 2: Roundtable Workshop on “This Island is Ours”

Film panel discussion featuring

  • Alexander Bukh (Victoria University of Wellington)
  • David Leheny (Waseda University)
  • Jung-Sun N. Han (Korea University)

Moderated by Edward Boyle (Kyushu University)

Registration for November 6 (Day 1):

Saturday 7 November

08:30 – 10:15    PANEL 5: New Spaces of Memory

  • Contesting Memories Online: The Case of the ‘Comfort women’ page on English Wikipedia – Jonathan Lewis (Hitotsubashi University)
  •  Visualising Korea: The Politics of the Statues of Peace – David Chapman (The University of Queensland)
  •  The Memory and Legacy of Shinto Shrine Sites in Seoul: The Geography of Colonial Religious Topoi – John G. Grisafi (Yale University)
  • Stolen Ainu Remains as Sites of Memory – Michael Roellinghoff (University of Tokyo)

Moderated by Paul Richardson (University of Birmingham)

10:30 – 12:15    PANEL 6: From the Margins

  • Hayashi Fumiko’s In-betweens: Gendering Sites of War Memory – Linshan Jiang (University of California, Santa Barbara)
  •  Release Hiroshima from History? Denationalization of Memory in the film Things Left Behind – Nobuyuki Nakamura (Setsunan University)
  • Reframing Kakure Kirishitan’s religious heritage as a landscape of multicultural coexistence – Tinka Delakorda Kawashima (Hiroshima University)
  • Commodifying cultures, negotiating identities: the reproduction and performance of the Cordilleran cultural heritage in Tam-awan Village, Philippines – Fernan Talamayan (National Chiao Tung University)

Moderated by Steven Ivings (Kyoto University)

13:30 – 15:15    PANEL 7: Narrating the Nation

  • Marcos, People Power, and Duterte: The People Power Monument, the Libingan ng mga Bayani, and the Problem of Historical Revisionism – Kerby C. Alvarez (University of the Philippines Diliman)
  • Memory, Representation and ‘Public History’: Focusing on the Japanese Military ‘Comfort Women’ Statue and Museum Exhibition – Hyein Han (Sunkyunkwan University)
  • The politics of Pacific War memorialization in Thailand’s Victory Monument and the Philippines’ Shrine of Valor – John Lee Candelaria (Hiroshima University)
  • Tracing the inveterate (post-)colonial controls: Queen’s Pier in Hong Kong and the ‘Cape No. 7’ in Hengchun, Taiwan – Liza Wing Man Kam (University of Göttingen)

Moderated by Hyun Kyung Lee (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies)

15:30 – 17:15    PANEL 8: Transborder Memorialization

  • Borders, Monuments and (Construction of) Sites of Cross-Border Memory in Europe. From Places of Conflict to Places of Cooperation (and back again) – Jarosław Jańczak (Adam Mickiewicz University)
  • Shifting Memoryscape of the Pacific War: On Two Japanese Veterans’ Projects in Palau, Micronesia – Shingo Iitaka (University of Kochi)
  • Cemeteries, Concrete, Connectivity: Memories of Infrastructured Spaces in Northeast India – Mirza Zulfiqur Rahman (Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi)
  • The remains of war: building postwar relationships when enemies are buried together – Alison Starr (University of Queensland)

Moderated by Mark Frost (UCL)

17:15 – 17:30    CONFERENCE WRAP-UP

Registration for November 7 (Day 2):

ABS 2019 Conference and Tijuana

The end of April saw the Association for Borderlands Studies hold its Annual Meeting in San Diego, providing a perfect setting for the themes with which the conference sought to grapple. The increasing salience of Asia’s border for their study globally was apparent in the two panels in which KUBS participated. The first, organized by Po-Yi Hung of National Taiwan University, brought together a collection of papers that considered the role of the borders in everyday life in East Asia, and featured Akihiro Iwashita, Naomi Chi, Yu-Hsiu Lien and myself.

The second was based around the Jean Monnet Network grant comparing Migration and Border Policies in the EU, Canada, and Japan, which was established under the Borders in Globalization project headed by Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly of the University of Victoria. The panel built upon the results of Workshops which had been held in Strasbourg, Brussels, Ottawa, Hokkaido, and Victoria over the previous three years, and provided an opportunity for Oliver Schmidtke, Birte Wassenberg, Naomi Chi and myself to set out what we had learned and reflected upon during the course of these workshops. Each of the three teams is producing a series of special issues and edited collections on their own area of study, while also contributing to the comparative work emerging through the project.

San Diego itself was a pleasant enough city,

in the somewhat identikit West Coast mould of Vancouver or Seattle, but was more interesting when viewed both as a borderland and as a city defined by the border fence that runs between itself and the Mexican City of Tijuana to the south.

This was not just for the great craft beer, but also reflected the ways in which the border exists in daily life, and how it is experienced for large sections for the population. One place where this was particularly apparent was at Chicano Park, a small community space beneath freeway off-ramps that was home to a beautiful series of murals proclaiming allegiance to a broader Mexican or indigenous identity. Painted up since the 1970s, the murals spoke to a sense of cross-border community being maintained in the heart of the old Mexican Barrio in San Diego. Yet one gardener’s story of how money for park maintenance was being siphoned off by the park’s management sadly reflects the ways in which community cohesion is increasingly hostage to private interests.

Fortunately, the ABS Meeting anticipated the interest in discovering the border by its participants, and in partnership with El Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF), arranged a tour across the border and series of events on the other side.

The pedestrian border crossing appears to have been designed as a paradigmatic representation of contemporary border trends, all exposed metal, barbed wire, cameras, and the incessantly channeling of human bodies along specific, well-defined tracks.

A more spontaneous, emotionally-charged version of the border was made available to us at the end of the trip, as we were taken to the famous section of border fence initially constructed by Clinton at the coast. While the US side of this section is a deliberately abandoned area of sand dunes and scrub, euphemistically labelled an ‘International Park’ on the map whilst being circled by border patrol agents and helicopters overhead, on the Mexican side, as appears to be the common pattern, the border is built right up to and, in a sense, taken possession of.

A border space at once haunting, celebratory and defiant.