HomeAsia-Pacific Social Science Reviewvol. 13 no. 2 (2013)

Southeast Asian Memories of the Japanese War

Erwin S. Fernandez

Discipline: History



Hayase, S. (2010). A walk through war memories in Southeast Asia. Quezon City: New Day Publishers. ISBN 971-10-1211-3. 200 pp.


Prof. Terami-Wada translated the original edition in Japanese to English of this book by Dr. Shinzo Hayase, a professor of Southeast Asian history at Osaka City University. It was originally a textbook for Japanese university students aimed at countering the influence of China in Southeast Asia by informing the Japanese youth of the importance of “historical awareness” in bringing about peaceful and progressive co-existence with East and Southeast Asian countries. The English edition was issued “for the Southeast Asian youth to know the Japanese view of the war” (p. vi).


By making a careful observation that the end of the war is viewed differently in different countries as opposed to what is observed in Japan, Hayase shows that national histories including Japanese are limited and biased that might lead to an appreciation of why they were so. He asserts that Southeast Asia is part of the “war space” that Japan had created. He faults Japanese intellectuals for failing to provide adequate information and knowledge on the war and postwar responsibilities that kept on surfacing on the controversy surrounding the visits to the Yasukuni Shrine by Japanese prime ministers. The solution he sees is to view the war from the perspectives of the people of Southeast Asia, which he intends to do in this book.