On 18 July 2019, UNU will host “Why Remember Pearl Harbor?” a conversation with Dr Eri Hotta, author of Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy. This event will start at 18:30 on 18 July 2019 in the 2F Reception Hall at UNU Headquarters in Tokyo.
In 1941, the Japanese government launched hostilities against the United States of America, thus beginning an “unwinnable war”. The story leading up to Pearl Harbor is complicated, often imperfectly portrayed, yet an important story that needs to be told and understood.
Peeling back seventy years of historical mythologising – both Japanese and Western – reveals the fallible humanity of its decision-makers and a blurring of individual accountability for actions taken. How were the decisions made at the time? Why did these men—military men, civilian politicians, diplomats, the emperor—put their country and its citizens so unnecessarily in harm’s way? How is this unsettling chapter of humankind’s history still relevant today?
Dr Hotta will join UNU Rector David M. Malone to discuss the political and cultural context surrounding Japan’s decision-making that existed on the eve of Pearl Harbor and to better understand and draw lessons from this historical incident.
The UNU Conversation Series aims to foster audience participation: you are encouraged to engage with the speakers during the conversation and at the reception that will follow, where all audience members are invited to enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres while exchanging ideas and making new contacts.
Please note that this event will be in English only; Japanese interpretation will not be provided. Advance registration (by 17 July 2019) is required. Please click on the REGISTER button above to access the online registration page.
Dr Eri Hotta is the acclaimed author of Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy (2013) and Pan-Asianism and Japan’s War 1931-1945 (2007). She is also a contributor to a variety of Japanese and international media, including The New York Times, The Nikkei Asian Review, The Financial Times and The Asahi Shimbun. Dr Hotta taught at the University of Oxford from 2001 to 2005 and held visiting professorships at Bard College, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo. Dr Hotta is currently working on her next book Man of the Century: Shinichi Suzuki’s Music Revolution, which examines the history of cultural globalization through the life and philosophy of a musical pedagogue and violinist.
Dr Hotta was born and raised in Tokyo. She received her BA in History from Princeton University, and her Masters and Doctorate degrees in International Relations from the University of Oxford.
2F Reception Hall
United Nations University
53-70, Jingumae 5-chome
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925