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Workshop on World War I in East Asia

24. Jan. 2018

Prof. Harald Fuess, Professor for Cultural Economic History at the HCTS, organized a workshop on World War I in East Asia and Japan that took place on Friday, January 26. It explored alternative views on wartime dynamics overcoming Eurocentric perspectives and included a keynote by Prof. Tatsuji Fujihara from Kyoto University.

In the course of this year, nummerous events will be conducted to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the end of World War I. However, national or at best Eurocentric perspectives dominate the general discussions and public reflections in Germany. Thus, to comply with the designation as a “world” war, there is a need take a look at the wider involvement of people from other territories and the integration of the “rest of the world history”. The workshop probed into these rather neglected regions and seeked to understand alternative wartime dynamics at work in places outside of Europe and explores worldwide connections and their long-term repercussions in Asia and Europe.

As keynote speaker, Toshiba Foundation Visiting Professor Tatsuji Fujihara from Kyoto University opened the workshop with an address on “World War I and the food crisis in Japan”. Dr. Takuma Melber from Heidelberg University presented his thoughts on “Insights into camp life: German soldiers in Japanese war captivity during World War I”. Focusing on “The ‘White Pacific’ at War: Britain, the Dominions, and Japan, 1914-1919”, Dr. Cees Heere from Leiden University gave a talk after a short break. Finally, organizer Prof. Harald Fuess talked about “World War One and the End of Globalization: Anglo-German Rivalries and the Destruction of German Trade in East Asia”.

The workshop took place from 2 pm to 5 pm at Karl Jaspers Centre. The event was sponsored by the Toshiba Foundation (TIFO).


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