The 'History Wars' in Comparative Perspective: Australia and Japan

Julia Yonetani


Abstract

The term ‘revisionism’ has referred historically to views that challenge an orthodoxy or official position. As narrative, history continually presents itself with the possibility of revision. A history that denies the possibility of revision is ideologically dogmatic. In this sense revisionism cannot be considered as necessarily a negative phenomenon. Yet revisionism is the term that has been used recently to describe historians who discount the extent or even occurrence of historical tragedies such as massacre, genocide, or even the Nazi holocaust. The dogmatic evasion and denunciation of any contradictory evidence by such revisionists can lead to what A. Dirk Moses refers to as the second meaning of revisionism, the posture of denial.

Keywords

Revisionism; Australia; Japan; denial

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