A Grand Design for Peace and Reconciliation

A Grand Design for Peace and Reconciliation

Achieving Kyosei in East Asia

Edited by Yoichiro Murakami and Thomas J. Schoenbaum

Scholars from Japan and a range of other countries explore in this book the still-unfinished effort to achieve the reconciliation of old enmities left over from past wars in East Asia. They present concrete policy proposals for a ‘grand design’ of peace based on the Japanese concept of ‘kyosei’, a word roughly translated as ‘conviviality’. A positive peace through kyosei means not only the absence of violence, but also the amelioration of past injustices, exploitation and oppression. The diversity of disciplines represented in the volume—international law and politics, history, philosophy and theology – enrich the contributors’ search for an intellectually appropriate, practically transformative and viable grand theory of peace in the twenty-first century. Chapters address issues such as security in North–South conflict situations, foreign policy strategies for Japan, the perspective of comparative religions, and current skepticism for the possibility of peace and reconciliation. These insightful and compelling analyses will be of great interest to students and researchers of East Asia and the politics of peace in general.

Chapter 8: Mapping the Sorrows of War

Philip West

Subjects: asian studies, asian law, law - academic, asian law, human rights, public international law, politics and public policy, human rights, international politics, international relations, terrorism and security

Extract

Philip West But as I got into the storytelling for the two movies, I realized that the 19-year olds from both sides had the same fears.They all wrote poignant letters home saying, “I don’t want to die.” They were all going through the same thing, despite the cultural differences. – Clint Eastwood, director, “Flags of Our Fathers” (2006) and “Letters from Iwo Jima” (2007) 1 Our right is but one: To be rancorless sons Of our luckless and sad Russian land. Let our grievances burn, rot, decay deep inside To the outside we’ll spring living shoots: only then, Looking up, will our Russia’s fatigued countryside See the Sun it awaited so long. – Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, “Prisoner’s Right” (translated from the Russian by Ignat Solzhenitsyn) 2 1. INTRODUCTION This beginning attempt to map the sorrows of the Asia Pacific War has a threefold purpose. One is to introduce the work of Japanese artists whose voices are rather hidden and serve as counter narratives to the on-going acrimony over the unhealed wounds of war between Japan and its former enemies. A second purpose is to place the “sorrows approach” used in this essay in the context of the human deaths for the whole of World War II. And a third is to articulate the obvious yet often glossed-over ambiguities of the word peace as it is used in the narratives of peace and military museums in Japan.3 2. SORROWS AND JAPANESE COUNTER NARRATIVES Imagine the effects on reconciliation that the paintings...

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