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The Anthropological Study of Historical Memory and Emotions on the Intercourse with Other Peoples in Oceania and Island Southeast Asia

Research period:2018.10-2023.3

KAZAMA Kazuhiro




This study will make correlations with emotions and places for recollection and pursue the question of how, in a modern world marked by massive, labyrinthine flows of digital information, historical memories of interactions with others acquire “historicity.”
Many developing nations across Oceania and Island Southeast Asia gained their independence following periods of colonial rule by the Western powers and Japan or after World War Two. Within the historical dynamics that lead up to the present day, the citizens of these regions have encountered a diversity of other peoples through migration, become entangled in conflicts and war, and yet also enjoyed experiences of peaceful cooperation with others. For expediency, in placing our focus on these historical memories of interaction with other peoples, we assumed a polarization between (1) public, collective memories of the unification of citizens and ethnic groups and (2) the vernacular memories rooted in the daily lives of individuals.
First, anticipating interrelationships between these two types of historical memory, this study will investigate how people create, pass on, and erase collective memories and memories from individual experience with their emotions. Historical memories that are recalled through association with relics, written documents, and personal narratives do not exist as static information; they possess the hidden power to stir human emotions and at times even incite extreme actions. Accordingly, as a second objective, this study will strive to identify the inherent emotional and physical attributes of recollection and to that end, will include within its scope of consideration the settings or contexts through which the historical memories of people living in the present day become manifest.