Han Heroes and Yamato Warriors
Competing Masculinities in Chinese and Japanese War Cinema
ISBN : 978-988-8754-27-4
Transnational Asian Masculinities
184 pages, 9″ x 6″, 21 b&w illus. & 3 tables
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Taking the apparent “tidal wave” of memory in the late 20th and early 21st century as its starting point, this monograph explores remembering in a specific context, World War II in East Asia (1937-1945), and through a specific mode, film. Weiss argues that Chinese, Japanese, and American collective memory of World War II is intertwined in a “memory loop,” or transnational memory network. This memory loop is constructed through the mediation and remediation of war narratives via transnational sites of memory such as international tribunals, migrant memoirs, photographs, and films. Weiss also argues that gender is central to the representation of (trans)national mediated memory, and that the changing representation of male soldiers, judges, political leaders, and patriarchal father figures in recent East Asian war films reveal Japanese and Chinese challenges to both each other and the perceived American “foundational” narrative of the war. This process continues to intensify due to the transnational memory loop, which drives this cycle of transmission, translation, and re-assessment.