November 9, 2017/ 12:00 PM - 1:45 PM


Post-imperial Reckoning: Transnational Legal Redress in East Asia

A Colloquium with Professor Yukiko Koga

Since the early 1990s, Chinese and Korean victims of Japanese imperialism in the first half of the twentieth century filed scores of lawsuits against the Japanese government and corporations within Japanese jurisdiction, and more recently within South Korean and Chinese jurisdiction. These lawsuits have become a prime site for belatedly redressing past violence and injustice years after the original violence ended with imperial Japan’s defeat in 1945. In this talk, Professor Koga examines this transnational legal redress movement and explores the role of law in the unmaking of empire. Professor Koga shows how post-imperial reckoning is emerging as a new legal frontier, exposing and unsettling what she calls “law’s imperial amnesia.”

Information about the Speaker: 

Yukiko Koga is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Hunter College – City University of New York. She is the author of Inheritance of Loss: China, Japan, and the Political Economy of Redemption after Empire (Chicago, 2016).

Her research explores the generational transfer of unaccounted-for pasts, focusing on how contemporary generations in East Asia come to terms with losses inflicted by imperialism, colonialism, and war that took place decades ago. Her book, Inheritance of Loss, looks at what it means for both Chinese and Japanese to come to terms with Japanese imperialism long after the Japanese defeat and the disappearance of its empire in 1945, and chronicles generational transmissions within a burgeoning economic sphere in Northeast China, where the introduction of the market economy created a new dynamic concerning the contested yet under-explored past for both Japan and China. Her current project explores the transnational legal redress movement, looking at compensation lawsuits filed by Chinese victims of Japanese imperialism.

Download file: 9.9.17-KOGA-FLYER-qv-xlo.pdf