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Grant number like: FO-50146-11

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Yukiko Koga
Brown University (Providence, RI 02912-9100)

Fellowships for Advanced Social Science Research on Japan
Research Programs

[Grant products][Prizes]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2012 – 6/30/2013

Accounting for Silence: Narration, Nation, and the Politics of Redress in China and Japan

This project is an anthropological, legal, and historical exploration of postwar compensation for Japanese colonial violence and injustice in the first half of the twentieth-century. I examine the politics of redress through the lens of postwar compensation surrounding Chinese forced laborers. While considerable recent studies shed light on the wartime slave labor practice, surprisingly little research exists on what happened to them after the war ended. My fieldwork draws attention to a pervasive and academically under-explored silence that many survivors maintained until the 1990s when they became plaintiffs in lawsuits against the Japanese government and corporations. This study explores how the dramatic disappearance and reappearance of the survivors and their archival traces—in both Japan and China—have produced distinct forms of giving voice to past injustice. This, in turn, allows for an exploration of what it means to account for silence.