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1981
Modern Popular Culture in Middle-Class Japan
  • ISSN: 2051-7084
  • E-ISSN: 2051-7092

Abstract

The gendered memorializing of the War of Resistance against Japan (1931–45) has been an important part of China’s war memory politics in all of the different phases it has undergone since 1945. In the Mao era, the iconography of the ‘Anti-Japanese female revolutionary martyrdoms’ rose to prominence, while the following reformation period consolidated a she-victim/he-hero dichotomy most forcefully characterized by the visualization of the Nanjing Massacre through violated female bodies symbolizing the nation’s victimhood. This article argues that in the Xi Jinping era, women’s roles in museums have begun to transform again. Coming from the viewpoint of a feminist critique, it approaches five prominent war museums in mainland China with gender as its main analytical category, studying women’s representations in the memorial spaces and exhibitions. It suggests that the current trends introduced the role of survivor of sexual violence and female soldier into the museal landscape, slightly complicating the previous gendered repertoires in the war’s musealization. By exploring the Chinese sociocultural themes of ‘chastity martyrdom’ and ‘female warriors’ and the multi-layered politics of the so-called ‘comfort women’ it discusses the extent to which the strategies used to portray women serve patriarchal nationalism rather than women’s interests.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • European Research Council (ERC)
  • GMM (Award 816784)
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/content/journals/10.1386/eapc_00080_1
2022-09-01
2024-05-29
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