Japan and its history

WAIS reported on the death of Iris Chang, which explains an experience I had in Japan, where I had been invited by the Japan Foundation.  My sponsor there was a history professor. Eric Boehm had had difficulty lining up a Japanese historian to write abstracts of Japanese historical publications for Historical Abstracts. Eric asked me if I could find someone, so I approached my sponsor.  I thought he would be flattered, but, on hearing my request, he became quite hostile, and asked me why people wnted to know about Japanese history.  His reaction amazed me. Now I realize that he was ashamed of Japan's defeat and of the failure of Japanese history books to tell the unpleasant truth about Japanese atrocities in World War II. I could find no Japanese historian to collaborate with Historical Abstracts.

Ronald Hilton 2005


last updated: June 11, 2005