Citizen Power: Postwar Reconciliation
Citizen Power: Postwar Reconciliation
Yasuko Claremont
The Oriental Society of Australia
ISBN: 9780959226928


The year 2015 marked the seventieth anniversary of the end of the Asia–Pacific War. From 30 September to 2 October, the Department of Japanese Studies at the University of Sydney held a commemorative international conference entitled Wounds, Scars, and Healing: Civil Society and Postwar Pacific Basin Reconciliation, the concluding conference of our five-year project on postwar grassroots reconciliation. In conjunction with the conference, we held a photographic exhibition on the theme of reconciliation, a grassroots workshop, screened the 1953 film Hiroshima, and promoted the performance of a new Noh play in English entitled Oppenheimer. These events celebrated postwar reconciliation with a special focus on civil peace movements. The word ‘celebrated’ may seem inappropriate because Japan has still not achieved reconciliation with China and Korea for atrocities committed against their people. Nevertheless, we believe that efforts being made by civil groups should be acknowledged for their success in bringing about reconciliation at a face-to-face level. That is the purpose of this book featuring grassroots images in postwar reconciliation.

The photographs have been taken from the exhibition, with some additions. Though these photographs were taken privately, not professionally, they bring to light the unity and determination of small civic groups in Japan who are reaching out and creating new fields of friendship and understanding with their counterparts in other countries.

   — Taken from the introduction by Yaskuo Claremont



   — クレアモント康子の紹介から

This book is printed in both English and Japanese.


Praise for Citizen Power

At a time of rising nationalism and xenophobia, this wonderful book highlights the extraordinary achievements of citizen-powered reconciliation between Japan and its former colonies and wartime enemies. The case studies presented in its pages provide inspiring models for others to follow, and give fresh hope for the future of ‘reconciliation from below’.
   —Professor Tessa Morris Suzuki, Australian National University


This book offers a graphic illustration of the diversity and persistence of civil society groups in Japan pursuing postwar reconciliation. These longstanding and ongoing initiatives have been little known outside Japan or indeed across many academic disciplines, including legal studies. Yet this volume indicates how such grassroots activity plays a significant role in lobbying the Japanese government for law and policy change, on domestic and international planes, as well as supporting lawsuits for victim redress. By bringing this work together in an eye-catching and cohesive manner, Dr Claremont and her rich array of contributors have provided a major service to Japan and the Asia–Pacific community.
   —Professor Luke Nottage, Law School, The University of Sydney



  1. Part 1: Testaments
  2. Part 2: Reaching out in understanding and friendship
  3. Part 3: Fostering the next generation
  4. Part 4: Ibaragi Noriko’s poem The Tale of Liu Liandren
  5. Part 5: Summation
  1. 第1部 遺言
  2. 第2部 理解と友好を求めて
  3. 第3部 次世代を育んで
  4. 第4部 りゅうりぇんれんの物語
  5. 第5部 終わりに

Permanent link to this page: