While there have been many unexpected turns, key events, and new en-
counters that have shaped this book’s main orientation, in many ways Cold
War Ruins inherits the theoretical concern for the politics of forgetting
and remembering I explored in Hiroshima Traces: Time, Space and the Dia-
lectics of Memories (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999). It also
remains loyal to many of the problematics shared in the collaborative proj-
ect Perilous Memories: The Asia-Pacific War(s) (Durham, NC: Duke Univer-
sity Press, 2001). In part responding to the end of the Cold War milieu,
Perilous Memories questioned many dominant assumptions and conventions
concerning World War II memories in the Pacific theater. It challenged
the prevailing binary with which the war has been remembered—in other
words, as a war primarily fought between the United States and Japan—
through the observations of events, subjectivities, and experiences that had
been suppressed for nearly half a century since the war’s end. I want to
thank the contributors to Perilous Memories and especially the two coedi-
tors, Geofrey M. White and T. Fujitani, for one of the first opportunities
to think collectively through, against, and beyond the Cold War/post– Cold
War dialectics.
After completing Hiroshima Traces, I continued to publish on the politics
of war memories, colonial amnesia, history wars, racism and neonational-
ism in Japan and the United States. Some of these writings appeared in a
Japa nese language volume entitled Vio lence, War, Redress: Politics of Mul-
ticulturalism (Bōryoku, sensō, ridoresu: Tabunkashugi no poritikusu, Tokyo:
Iwanami Shoten, 2003). I was able to complete the second book relatively
quickly because I had the fortune of receiving a University of California
Humanities Research Institute (uchri) Resident Fellowship. But the uchri
fellowship and the two quarter- length resident fellows’ seminars in which I
participated also opened up an entirely new horizon of inquiries such that
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