Faculty of Arts

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Japanese Studies


Dr Beatrice Trefalt


Not offered in 2016


This unit examines the legacies of World War II in the Asia Pacific region, especially Japan, Korea, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines. It considers such well-known events as the Nanking Massacre of 1937 and the sexual slavery of so-called 'comfort women , as well as lesser known issues such as the use of Asian forced labour on the Burma-Thailand Railway or the experiences of colonial soldiers (Korean, Taiwanese, Filipino, Indian) in the conflict. Importantly, the unit examines critically how debates about the past affect international and domestic relations in the region, and why the wartime past continues to haunt Japan and its neighbours to this day.


Upon completion of the unit, the students should have acquired

  1. a solid foundation of knowledge about the Second World War in Asia and the Pacific
  2. familiarity with specific issues related to war legacies and war memory
  3. critical insights into the contested and fluid nature of representations of the past
  4. research and interpretation skills through tutorial preparation and participation, and through the submission of written assignments
  5. practice in presenting and debating ideas and interpretations effectively and in an informed manner, both orally and in writing.


Within semester assessment: 80%
Exam: 20%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


A gateway unit in International studies, Japanese studies or permission.