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Pearl Harbor: Sneak Attack or Provocation?

Date: Thu. December 5th, 2013, 4:15 pm-1:00 pm

A Humanities-Related Event

In America the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor has been interpreted as a cowardly sneak attack by an evil enemy on an innocent America. But what if FDR provoked, even unnecessarily, Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor? If this were so, our understanding of the history of World War II and its consequences up until September 11, 2001 and beyond would have to change. Dr. Hagiwara’s presentation, scheduled just days before Pearl Harbor Day, is meant to start further discussions on Pearl Harbor and other related issues such as Japan’s alleged atrocities in Asia before and during World War II, the so-called Rape of Nanking, comfort women (sex slaves), the Bataan death march, and more.


About the speaker

Takao Hagiwara

Takao Hagiwara (M.A. in Comparative Literature and Ph.D. in Modern Japanese Literature, The University of British Columbia) is Associate Professor of Japanese in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Case Western Reserve University. Before joining the faculty at CWRU, he taught at the University of British Columbia, the University of Florida, and Smith College.

His articles, chapters, and books include “Derrida and Zen: Desert and Swamp” in Philosophy East and West (January 2014),”Feminism, Modernity, Premodernity in Japan and the West: Fumiko Enchi’s The Waiting Years and Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House” in Constructing Identities: The Interaction of National, Gender and Racial Borders (2013), “Religious and Cultural Borders between Shusaku Endo’s Silence and Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory” in In, Out, and Beyond: Studies on Border Confrontations, Resolutions, and Encounters (2011), Modern Japanese Literature Read in North America: A Comparative Approach (book in Japanese, 2008), and Characteristics of Modern Japanese Literature: Centering on the “Deconstructive” Metaphysics of the Womb (book in Japanese, 2000).

Hagiwara’s recent research interests include the feminine/mother sensibilities in Japanese culture and literature and their relationships with (post)modern sensibilities.

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