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History Education and Reconciliation

Comparative Perspectives on East Asia

Unsuk Han, Takahiro Kondo, Biao Yang and Falk Pingel

The legacy of crimes committed during the Second World War in East Asia is still a stumbling block for reconciliation and trustful cultural relations between South Korea, China and Japan. The presentation of this issue in history school books is in the focus of a heated public and academic debate. This book written by historians and pedagogues from the three countries offers insight into the construction of historical narratives that are often nation-centered and foster exclusive identity patterns. However, the essays also reveal approaches to a more inclusive regional concept of East Asian history that puts the textbook debate into the wider framework of transitional justice.

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Chung, Jae-jeong: Experiencing the Writing of a Joint History Textbook for South Korean and Japanese Students

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Chung, Jae-jeong Experiencing the Writing of a Joint History Textbook for South Korean and Japanese Students The textbook The History of Interaction between Korea and Japan: From Pre- historic to Modern Times1 was published simultaneously on March 1, 2007, in both countries in their respective languages. It was the result of the joint work of the Association of History Textbook Researchers (Yeoksa Gyogwaseo Yeongu- hoe) in South Korea and the Association of Historical Education Researchers (Rekishi Kyiku Kenkyka) in Japan. What gave birth to this project and how was it accomplished? 2 The Starting Point A Korean-Japanese History Textbook Symposium was held in December 1997. Twenty people from each country – including professors, teachers and graduate students – attended the meeting. The South Korean Association of History Text- book Researchers and the Japanese Association of Historical Education Re- searchers were commissioned to hold such symposiums regularly. Their respec- tive secretariats were established at the University of Seoul and Tokyo Gakugei University. The two universities formally signed an agreement for the exchange of professors and students. The network of cooperation and friendship resulting from the exchanges contributed to the success of the project. The Department of Korean History of the University of Seoul provided the expertise for reviewing history textbooks covering the entire period of Korea’s history from prehistoric to modern times. More than 40 students enrolled in master’s and Ph.D. programs and more than 30 history teachers enrolled in mas- 1 Han-Il yeoksa gongtong gyojae Han-Il gyoryu eui yeoksa: Seonsa buteo hyeondae...

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