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Instrumentalized History and the Motif of Repetition in News Coverage of Japan-Taiwan Relations

Sejrup, Jens LU (2012) In Pacific Affairs 85(4). p.745-765
Abstract
Examining the coverage in seven major Japanese and Taiwanese daily newspapers of a selection of events involving both societies in the first decade of the twenty-first century, this paper investigates the phenomenon of rhetorical instrumentalization of the past for present ideological purposes. The concerns of this study are the processes of dehistorization in Japanese and Taiwanese news and public debate, and through a critical thematic reading of the sources I argue that a motif of Taiwanese repetition and imitation of Japan runs through all the studied cases as a basic narrative formula. Analyzed cases include news presentations of Taiwanese politicians visiting Japan, controversial statements on Taiwan by a Japanese cabinet minister,... (More)
Examining the coverage in seven major Japanese and Taiwanese daily newspapers of a selection of events involving both societies in the first decade of the twenty-first century, this paper investigates the phenomenon of rhetorical instrumentalization of the past for present ideological purposes. The concerns of this study are the processes of dehistorization in Japanese and Taiwanese news and public debate, and through a critical thematic reading of the sources I argue that a motif of Taiwanese repetition and imitation of Japan runs through all the studied cases as a basic narrative formula. Analyzed cases include news presentations of Taiwanese politicians visiting Japan, controversial statements on Taiwan by a Japanese cabinet minister, infrastructure developments in present-day Taiwan and the controversy surrounding a Japanese guidebook to Taiwanese prostitution. Throughout the material, Taiwan is pictured as ideally progressing along a trajectory marked out by Japan and the two are cast in fixed roles that recall their relative positions in the half-century of Japanese colonization of Taiwan: Japan teaches Taiwan order, unity and modern development and Taiwan studies Japan’s past to overcome the challenges of its own present. Or Taiwan spontaneously imitates Japanese precedence as a consequence of its own development. This paper fundamentally challenges the rationale underlying strategic instrumentalization of the past and draws critical attention to the paradoxical fact that the use of the repetition formula positions the covered news events in a thematic field of time-lag and retrospection. (Less)
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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Japan, Taiwan, news, history, postcolonial, modernity
in
Pacific Affairs
volume
85
issue
4
pages
745 - 765
publisher
Pacific Affairs
external identifiers
  • Scopus:84870777089
ISSN
1715-3379
DOI
10.5509/2012854745
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
d5c783e1-a77e-47f0-9f92-886d9975ace5 (old id 4378422)
alternative location
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/paaf/paaf/2012/00000085/00000004/art00003
date added to LUP
2014-04-01 08:22:25
date last changed
2016-10-13 04:25:11
@misc{d5c783e1-a77e-47f0-9f92-886d9975ace5,
  abstract     = {Examining the coverage in seven major Japanese and Taiwanese daily newspapers of a selection of events involving both societies in the first decade of the twenty-first century, this paper investigates the phenomenon of rhetorical instrumentalization of the past for present ideological purposes. The concerns of this study are the processes of dehistorization in Japanese and Taiwanese news and public debate, and through a critical thematic reading of the sources I argue that a motif of Taiwanese repetition and imitation of Japan runs through all the studied cases as a basic narrative formula. Analyzed cases include news presentations of Taiwanese politicians visiting Japan, controversial statements on Taiwan by a Japanese cabinet minister, infrastructure developments in present-day Taiwan and the controversy surrounding a Japanese guidebook to Taiwanese prostitution. Throughout the material, Taiwan is pictured as ideally progressing along a trajectory marked out by Japan and the two are cast in fixed roles that recall their relative positions in the half-century of Japanese colonization of Taiwan: Japan teaches Taiwan order, unity and modern development and Taiwan studies Japan’s past to overcome the challenges of its own present. Or Taiwan spontaneously imitates Japanese precedence as a consequence of its own development. This paper fundamentally challenges the rationale underlying strategic instrumentalization of the past and draws critical attention to the paradoxical fact that the use of the repetition formula positions the covered news events in a thematic field of time-lag and retrospection.},
  author       = {Sejrup, Jens},
  issn         = {1715-3379},
  keyword      = {Japan,Taiwan,news,history,postcolonial,modernity},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {745--765},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x7845d98)},
  series       = {Pacific Affairs},
  title        = {Instrumentalized History and the Motif of Repetition in News Coverage of Japan-Taiwan Relations},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.5509/2012854745},
  volume       = {85},
  year         = {2012},
}