Remaking the world: Revenge and revolt in the wake of Japanese defeat

Caption: “Korean members of a group that revolted against Jap slavery are shown here aboard an American LCI

Excited to give a talk at USC on January 25th, 2024 based on some of the ongoing research I am conducting for my book  project on World War Two. This
talk aims to move beyond our reiterative framework of the immediate
period of Japan’s defeat in World War Two – shifting away from an
emphasis on the Japanese populace’s “embrace of defeat” – and instead
contemplating defeat as also encompassing frenetic flashpoints
throughout the collapsing empire and surrounding Pacific islands. Some
defeated Japanese soldiers were filled with disgust and anger at their
superior officers for their brutal treatment on the battlefield and
sought revenge on the repatriation ships back to Japan by either
throwing them overboard or beating them up on the ship. Common, too,
were lynchings in the prisoner of war camps where Okinawans, Koreans and
Japanese were separated from each other but still at times explosive
feuds erupted, with Okinawans or Koreans beating up the Japanese. It was
also a time of revolts; one in the heart of the Japanese archipelago in
Akita prefecture involving Chinese forced laborers, with another
occurring on Mili Atoll in the Marshall islands led by Korean and
Marshallese forced laborers. By focusing on revenge, revolt, and the
anger and rage throughout the Pacific region we can imagine defeat as
offering an opportunity to the disenfranchised to remake the world, to
overthrow the hierarchy, with their own sense of justice and
retribution, even if these worlds were fleeting and unsustainable. See details on location here

Lost Cultures: Living Legacies Episode 3: The Ainu

So proud to be a part of this new Travel + Leisure podcast series, Lost Cultures: Living Legacies. I was interviewed for Episode 3: The Ainu  A Culture too Strong for Japan to Erase

Here is the link to the episode 3 article and the podcast itself:

To learn more about the Ainu, listen to Ito, Ziomek, and Prakash dive deep into the culture in Lost Cultures: Living Legacies, available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, and everywhere podcasts are available.

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