ABSTRACT The paper, presenting the distinctions between
Chinese and Japanese textbooks and museums’ descriptions on Second
Sino-Japanese War, tends to offer explanations for the different presentations
of the war. Textbooks from high school mandatory world history courses from
Ikeda Senior High School attached to Osaka Koku University in Osaka, Japan and
ChenJingLun High School in Beijing, China are chosen to compare. For
war-relating museums, the Unit 731 Museum in Harbin, China and the Peace
Memorial Museums of Hiroshima, Japan are both one of the most important and
profound war museums in both nations. Chinese textbook straightforwardly points
out Japanese territorial expansion, Japanese brutal atrocities, and the
successful achievement CPC made in the war. However, the Japanese textbook
describes Japan’s domestic economic crisis during WWII, Chinese Civil War
between the CPC and Kuomintang, and Japanese diplomacy. For the museums, the
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Hall’s Main Building tells tragedies caused by the
A-bomb, survivors’ emotional stories, and the huge mental and physical damage
to the civilian population. The Unit 731 Museum’s Bacteriological Exhibit Hall
reveals the human experiments in the secluded Unit 731 military base. Assuming
the government-approved mandatory history textbooks in both nations convey the
historical information preferred by current national government, and museums
serve as the repository of abundant documents and visual evidences, the paper
further analyzes the distinctions from social, historical, and political aspects;
national war memories, Japanese sense of excluded national pride, postwar
US-Japanese relation, and government legitimacy are factors examined to be
accounted for the notable distinctions between Chinese and Japanese textbooks
and museums’ descriptions of the war.
Cite this paper
Li, Z. (2018) Presentation and Analysis on the Different Cultural Interpretations: Examining Chinese and Japanese Textbooks and Museums. Advances in Historical Studies, 7, 31-57. doi: 10.4236/ahs.2018.72004.
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