Kyushu University Academic Staff Educational and Research Activities Database
List of Papers
Edward Anthony Vickers Last modified date:2022.07.04

Professor / International and Comparative Education / Department of Education / Faculty of Human-Environment Studies

1. Miki Dezaki, Mark Frost and Edward Vickers, Debating Shusenjo - the Main Battlefield of the Comfort Women Issue: Director Miki Dezaki in conversation with Mark R. Frost and Edward Vickers, March 1, 2021 Volume 19 | Issue 5 | Number 11 , Article ID 5554, 2021.03, [URL], This Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus special issue on “The Comfort Women as Public History” concludes with documentary filmmaker Miki Dezaki in conversation with Edward Vickers and Mark R. Frost. Dezaki’s film Shusenjo, released in 2018, examines the controversy over “comfort women” within Japan, as well as its implications for Korea-Japan relations. Dezaki, himself Japanese-American, also devotes considerable attention to the growing ramifications of this controversy within the United States, as an instance of the increasing international significance of the comfort women issue. In this discussion, he, Frost and Vickers reflect on the messages of the film, the experience of making and distributing it, and what this reveals about the difficulty - and importance - of doing public history in a manner that respects the complexity of the past..
2. Su Zhiliang and Edward Vickers (translator), Reconstructing the History of the “Comfort Women” System: The Fruits of 28 years of Investigation into the “Comfort Women” Issue in China, Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, March 1, 2021 Volume 19 | Issue 5 | Number 7, Article ID 5548, 2021.03, [URL], Since 1991, scholars from all over Asia have sought to reconstruct the history of the Japanese military’s “comfort women” – that is, to recover the facts relating to this system of sexual slavery – by analysing documentary records and interviewing survivors. As a result, an international consensus has emerged concerning the status of this system as a wartime atrocity involving large-scale violation of human rights, for which Japan ought to apologize. However, within Japan many persist in denying responsibility for the invasion [of China and associated atrocities]. Therefore, no effort should be spared to pass on the memory of this history to future generations, through discussing this atrocity of sexual slavery in school textbooks, applying for a [UNESCO] Memory of the World inscription, producing documentary films, or building museums, memorials and so forth. Other Asian countries thus continue their intense disputes with Japan over the nature and scale of the comfort women system, and the appropriate terminology for describing it.
3. Edward Vickers, Slaves to rival nationalisms: UNESCO and the politics of ‘comfort women’ commemoration, Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, March 1, 2021 Volume 19 | Issue 5 | Number 5, Article ID 5546, 2021.03, [URL], In October 2017, the application to list the Voices of the Comfort Women archive on UNESCO’s “Memory of the World Register” was rejected (or “postponed”). In this paper, I set that decision in the context of other recent instances of “heritage diplomacy” in East Asia, highlighting the tensions between nationalistic agendas and UNESCO’s universalist pretensions. I then discuss the nature and extent of similar tensions in the framing of the “comfort women” issue, as manifested in “comfort women museums” (institutions closely associated with the preparation of the 2016-17 Memory of the World application). I focus especially on the case of China, where the Xi Jinping regime first sought to weaponize this issue against Japan, only to pull back in 2018 as Sino-Japanese ties warmed. I conclude by considering how the story of the comfort women might be reframed to underline its global significance (or “outstanding universal value”), in a manner that makes it more difficult for Japanese nationalists to portray the campaign for recognition and commemoration as an anti-Japan conspiracy..
4. Edward Vickers and Mark Frost, Introduction: The “Comfort Women” as Public History - Scholarship, Advocacy and the Commemorative Impulse, Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, March 1, 2021 Volume 19 | Issue 5 | Number 3, Article ID 5555, 2021.03, [URL], In this introductory essay to the special issue of The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus on “The Comfort Women as Public History,” we analyze the turn since the early 2000s towards “heritagization” of this controversial issue. After reviewing the political, cultural and historiographical background to ongoing disputes over “comfort women,” we examine how the reframing of this issue as “heritage” has been accompanied by increasing entanglement with the global politics of atrocity commemoration, and associated tropes. Prominent among such tropes is the claim that commemoration fosters “peace”. However, following recent critical scholarship on this issue, and drawing on the papers that comprise this special issue, we question any necessary equation between heritagization and reconciliation. When done badly, the drive to commemorate a contentious issue as public history can exacerbate rather than resolve division and hatred. We therefore emphasise the need for representation of comfort women as public history to pay due regard to nuance and complexity, for example regarding the depiction of victims versus perpetrators; the transnational dimension of the system; and its relationship with the broader history of gender politics and the sexual subjugation of women..
5. Edward Vickers, Comparative Education in Asia: Inaugurating the APJE-CESA Affiliation, Asia-Pacific Journal of Education,, 37, 3, 279-282, 2018.01, [URL].
6. Edward Vickers, All Quiet on the Eastern Front? Populism, Nationalism and Democracy in East Asia, The Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, doi:10.1353/gia.2017.0021, 18, 2, 59-68, 2017.06, [URL], Contrary to the prevailing narrative of East Asian immunity to the recent surge of anti-establishment, populist politics across the West, Vickers argues that features of populist nationalism are already ingrained in the established order across much of East Asia. Examining China, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea, he finds that many of the forces now challenging the status quo in Europe and the United States are part of the East Asian political mainstream..
7. Edward Vickers, Paul Morris, Schooling, Politics and the Construction of Identity in Hong Kong: the “Moral and National Education” Crisis in Historical Context, Comparative Education, 51, 3, 305-326, 2015.06, Since Hong Kong's retrocession, the government has endeavoured to strengthen local citizens' identification with the People's Republic of China – a project that acquired new impetus with the 2010 decision to introduce ‘Moral and National Education’ (MNE) as a compulsory school subject. In the face of strong local opposition, this policy was withdrawn in 2012, and implementation of MNE made optional. This article seeks to elucidate the background to the MNE controversy of 2012 by locating the emergence of a distinctive Hong Kong identity in its historical context, and analysing successive official attempts (before and after the 1997 retrocession) to use schooling for purposes of political socialisation. We argue that the school curriculum has projected and reflected a dual sense of identity: a ‘Chineseness’ located mainly in ethno-cultural qualities, and a ‘Hongkongeseness’ rooted in civic attributes. While reinforced by schooling, local civic consciousness has been intimately related to a tradition of public activism strongly evident since the 1970s, and further strengthened post-1997..
8. Edward Vickers, Yang Biao, Shanghai's History Curriculum Reforms and Shifting Textbook Portrayals of Japan, French Centre for Research on Contemporary China, 2013/4, 33-43, 2013.12, [URL], This article examines the coverage of Japan in Shanghai's senior high history textbooks since the early 1990s – a period when the city's status as China's“showpiece for the global era”has been widely touted. Uniquely among cities on the Chinese mainland, Shanghai has throughout this period enjoyed the right to publish and prescribe its own textbooks for use in local schools (a right extended to most other regions only since the early 2000s). The portrayal of Japan in local texts thus offers a window onto the way in which a self-avowedly “global” Chinese metropolis has balanced an outward-looking and internationalist vision with the requirement for history to serve patriotic education. It also sheds light on the meaning and extent of local curricular “autonomy” in contemporary China..
9. Edward Vickers, Editorial: Chinese Visions of Japan - official narratives of a troubled relationship, The French Centre for Research on Contemporary China, 2013/4, 3-5, 2013.12, [URL].
10. Edward Anthony Vickers, Transcending Victimhood: Japan in the public historical museums of Taiwan and the People's Republic of China, French Centre for Research on Contemporary China, 2013/4, 19-32, 2013.12, [URL], This article looks at how the major national (or pseudo-national) historical museums in China and Taiwan interpret and display very different “new rememberings” of Japan. The main focus is on the permanent exhibitions of the modern history wing of the National Museum of China (NMC; formerly the Museum of the Chinese Revolution), which finally reopened in 2011 after almost a decade of refurbishment, and of the National Museum of Taiwan History (NMTH), which opened in the same year. It discusses how museum portrayals of Japan reflect divergent public discourses on national identity. Through examining the relationship between museums and the apparatus of the Chinese state (ROC and PRC), the first section locates the NMC and NMTH in their bureaucratic and political contexts. A typology of approaches to the construction of national identity is then offered, considering the implications of different conceptions of identity for portrayals of Japan and its relationship with China or Taiwan. The remainder of the article looks in turn at the NMC and NMTH, outlining the history of each before examining how Japan is represented in their permanent exhibitions. It concludes by considering what can be learnt from this about the evolving relationship between official historical discourse and the broader political context on both sides of the Taiwan Strait..
11. Edward Vickers, History, Identity and the Politics of Taiwan's Museums: reflections on the DPP-KMT transition No. 3, 92-106., China Perspectives, 3, 96-106, 2010.09, Museums in Taiwan—as elsewhere—have always been embroiled in politicised debates over collective identity, both reflecting and helping to shape the contours of identity discourse. During the four decades of the Martial Law era, the Kuomintang (KMT) regime used museums as vehicles for its campaigns to nurture patriotic citizens of a “Republic of China” encompassing the entire Chinese mainland. However, with the onset of democratisation from the late 1980s, museums increasingly reflected and reinforced a strengthening consensus over Taiwan’s historical and cultural distinctiveness, while also mirroring the considerable pluralism of popular identity consciousness. This trend was accentuated under the regime of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) after 2000, but 2008 witnessed the return to power of a KMT determined to establish warmer ties with China. This paper examines the extent to which the new regime’s more accommodative approach to China has extended into the realm of museums, while considering whether developments within the sector, and within broader Taiwanese society, mean that museums are no longer quite the pliable tools of official cultural policy that they once were..