There is a profound lack of awareness among younger generations about Japan’s prewar engagement with the Pacific Islands, let alone other colonial sites, yet arguably, this amnesia is not a spontaneous phenomenon. Forgetting about Micronesia and erasing it from the Japanese mass consciousness was a project in which both Japanese and American postwar forces were complicit. Focusing on stories of Japanese amnesia and selective memory in the Marshall Islands, I explore the Marshallese notion of “closing the sea,” how U.S. power has long been a mediating factor in why Japanese forget their Pacific past, and also why Marshall Islanders remember it.

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