Of the numerous commercially published Japanese travelogues about the southwestern Pacific Islands, five stand out for their detailed accounts of interactions between the travel writers and the Pacific Islanders. This article explores the common narrative threads in these works. Drawing on the literature on travel writing and dark tourism, it analyzes how the relationship between travelers and the Islanders has evolved over time. The early writers report disturbing encounters with Islanders for whom memories of World War II’s Pacific battles were still vivid. The later writers exhibit greater expectations as patrons of battlefield tourism. Their writing displays less interest in a meaningful cultural exchange with the Islanders. This trend may parallel the asymmetry of political and economic power between Japan and the Pacific Islands.
From Memory Making to Money Making?: Japanese Travel Writers’ Impressions of Cross-Cultural Interaction in the Southwestern Pacific Islands Battle Sites, 1962–2007
Ryota Nishino; From Memory Making to Money Making?: Japanese Travel Writers’ Impressions of Cross-Cultural Interaction in the Southwestern Pacific Islands Battle Sites, 1962–2007. Pacific Historical Review 1 August 2017; 86 (3): 443–471. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/phr.2017.86.3.443
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