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Old Wounds, New Narratives: Joint History Textbook Writing and Peacebuilding in East Asia

Zheng Wang
History and Memory
Vol. 21, No. 1 (Spring/Summer 2009), pp. 101-126
Published by: Indiana University Press
DOI: 10.2979/his.2009.21.1.101
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/his.2009.21.1.101
Page Count: 26
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Old Wounds, New Narratives: Joint History Textbook Writing and Peacebuilding in East Asia
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Abstract

Powerful collective memories—whether real or concocted— often lie at the root of conflicts, nationalism and cultural identities. In most societies, history textbooks are the “agents of memory” and function as a sort of “supreme historical court.” This article reviews initially how controversies over history textbooks have become sources of conflict in East Asia and then examines the activities of a trilateral history textbook writing project between China, Japan and the Republic of Korea. It also aims to contribute to the theoretical discussion about why history textbooks are worth fighting over and how joint history textbook writing can be used as a means for peacebuilding.

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