[Report] Prof. Rikki Kersten "Historical Trauma, Tenko and Subjective Coherence: Yoshimoto Takaaki’s '1945 Complex'"
In April 28, 2010, UTCP invited Professor Rikki Kersten (Modern Japanese Political History) from Australian National University. She gave us a lecture titled “Historical Trauma, Tenko (Apostasy) and Subjective Coherence: Yoshimoto Takaaki’s ‘1945 Complex’”.
Prof. Kersten examined, through Yoshimoto Takaaki’s thought, the problem of Tenko, or apostasy, of Japanese intellectuals after the defeat in 1945. According to her, it is important to recognize the continuity and discontinuity between
prewar and postwar Japan. This means the defeat itself had a great impact on Japanese society, but some of the intellectuals who had been active before or during the war were influential even after the war. Yoshimoto criticized such intellectuals as Hanada Kiyoteru and Takamura Kotaro.
In Prof. Kersten’s view, Yoshimoto tried not to overcome an historical trauma of the defeat, but to integrate it into himself. Her lecture provokes important ideas about a universal theme of the relation between the war and intellectuals.
(Written by Naofumi ABE)