This paper examines the development of Vietnamese studies in post–World War II Japan. During the Vietnam War, Vietnamese studies in Japan was developed by a young generation of academics who were shocked by war coverage. Some of these scholars viewed Vietnamese society and its nationalist spirit as their “ideal social model,” and dedicated themselves to research topics centered on Vietnam’s rural society, revolution, and nationalism. However, when fieldwork became possible in the 1990s after the Đổi Mới reforms, research subjects became diversified among scholars who came after the Vietnam War generation as they encountered the country’s diverse realities.
From “Ideal Social Model” to Reality: Vietnamese Studies in Japan
Hisashi Shimojō received his PhD from the Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies at the University of Kyoto in 2015. He is currently assistant professor at the School of International Relations of the University of Shizuoka. His research focuses on the anthropology and history of Vietnam, in particular on issues of everyday politics, cross-border migration, and multiethnicity in the Mekong Delta. He would like to thank the co-editor of the Journal of Vietnamese Studies, Charles Keith, who invited him to participate in this special issue and improve his analysis. In addition, he would like to thank the excellent managing editor Jessica Lockrem and freelance copyeditor Beth Chapple for their academic and editorial suggestions. He appreciates the numerous useful suggestions by Masako Itō, Atsufumi Katō, Takamichi Serizawa, and Ayako Tomizuka, who helped him to find relevant material on the history of Southeast Asian and Vietnamese studies in post–World War II Japan. Any errors are his own.
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Hisashi Shimojō; From “Ideal Social Model” to Reality: Vietnamese Studies in Japan. Journal of Vietnamese Studies 1 February 2021; 16 (1): 4–47. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/vs.2021.16.1.4
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