New Zealand Asia Institute conference: Popular culture, war memory and reconciliation between South Korea and Japan Event as iCalendar

(School of Cultures, Languages and Linguistics)

12 August 2017 - 13 August 2017


Venue: Room 321, Owen G Glenn Building (260-321)

This two-day conference will examine how colonial and wartime memories are constructed, fought over, and negotiated at a popular level in Japan and Korea, in order to identify both the potential opportunities and obstacles for reconciliation.

While there appears to be increasing pressure and incentive at the state level to solve war memory issues, this project focuses on what is happening at the popular level.

We hope to open up a new line of conversation between Japan and Korea specialists by engaging the following questions:

  • What potential for reconciliation exists in popular culture?
  • How does the unique ability of popular culture to stimulate visceral responses contribute to the creation of collective memories?
  • How do popular cultural representations link and interact with official discourse and state strategies?
  • Does the consumption of each other’s popular culture contribute to the possibility of future reconciliation?
  • Is there evidence for changes in popular consciousness with regard to the history of colonisation and war memory?
  • How do nationalistic imageries and “anti-Korean” or “anti-Japanese” discourses constitute a challenge for reconciliation?

Register now

If you have any questions please email Dinah Towle (

Saturday 12 August 2017
9.15am Welcome: Mark Mullins, Director of the Japan Studies Centre, University of Auckland
9.30am Session 1

Chair: Lawrence Marceau, University of Auckland

Speaker 1: Philip Seaton, Hokkaido University, “Representations of Korea in the Writings of Shiba Ryotaro and Tourist Sites Related to Clouds Above the Hill and Tobu ga Gotoku”

Speaker 2: Chris Perkins, University of Edinburgh, “Oshima, Korea and Guilt: The Case of Yunbogi’s Diary”
10.30am Morning tea
11am Session 2

Chair: Mi Yung Park, University of Auckland

Speaker 1: Stephen Epstein, Victoria University of Wellington, “Fly the Flag… At Your Own Risk: Celebrities, Nationalism and Reconciliation in South Korea and Japan”

Speaker 2: Rebecca Suter, The University of Sydney, “Lovers’ Quarrels: Japan-Korea relations in Boys Love Manga”
12noon Lunch
1.30pm Film Screening: Introduction by Alex Bukh

Session 3

Chair: Stephen Noakes, University of Auckland

Speaker 1: Changzoo Song, University of Auckland, “Popular Culture and Food as a Healing Factor? Hallyu in Japan and Zainichi Feelings of the Past”

Speaker 2: Ria Shibata, Otago University, “Japanese Inherited Responsibility and Memory of the War”

Sunday 13 August

Session 4

Chair: Mark Mullins, University of Auckland

Speaker 1: Roald Maliangkay, The Australian National University, “Ppalli Ppalli! Bringing the Korean Colonial Subjects up to Speed”

Speaker 2: Hee-seung Irene Lee, University of Auckland, “Remember to Reset: Representation of the Colonial Era in Recent Korean Films”

10.30am Morning tea

Session 5

Chair: Philip Seaton, Hokkaido University

Speaker 1: Rumi Sakamoto, University of Auckland, “Remembering Korean Kamikaze Pilots in Japanese Films”

Speaker 2: Kukhee Choo, Sophia University, “Memories of Comfort in Koreeda Hirokazu’s Air Doll (2009)”

12noon Lunch

Session 6

Chair: Rebecca Suter, The University of Sydney

Speaker 1: Karl Ian Cheng Chua, Ateneo de Manila University, “Forgetting the War through Educational Manga”

Speaker 2: Alexander Bukh, Victoria University of Wellington, “Seal Battles between Japan and Korea: Narrating Nature in Dokdo/Takeshima Related Manga”

2.30-2.45 pm Concluding remarks: Rumi Sakamoto, University of Auckland