Borders, Heritage and Memory

Edward Boyle, Assistant Professor
Department of Politics, Faculty of Law

The project will emphasize heritage sites as spaces for reconciliation, and ask how the memories with which such sites are associated could be placed in agonistic engagement, rather than antagonistic opposition, with one another. This will be considered in terms of the three processes that constitute the focus of the larger project, heritage as tools of (1) national identity, (2) international influence, and (3) local revitalization. The workshop will bring together a diverse, interdisciplinary group of scholars to reflect on such issues.

Model of the Dokdo Islands, known as Takeshima and also claimed by Japan, at the Dokdo Museum in central Seoul, Republic of Korea. This museum is an early representative of the trend for representing marginal spaces of the nation as symbolic repositories for national identity in state capitals. The opening of the National Museum of Territory and Sovereignty in Tokyo in 2017, and its relocation and expansion in 2020, reflects the same process.

The reincorporation of an existing Ainu museum at Shiraoi in Hokkaido into ‘Upopoi’, or the Symbolic Space of Ethnic Harmony, shows the impact of transnational patterns of heritage making on domestic issues. At the same time, a dispute over the role of this space in the eventual fate of Ainu remains held by Japanese universities shows that the meaning of such sites is open to contestation from those it purports to celebrate.

Related Link

Team Member

Alexander Bukh, Senior Lecturer, Victoria University of Wellington

Research Collaborations

British Association of Japanese Studies
Asia New Zealand Foundation

Related Publications

  1. “Borders of Memory: affirmation and contestation over Japan’s heritage”, Japan Forum 31.3 (2019), 293–312.
  2. 「パラオの戦跡-記憶化の視点から」、古川浩司(編)『知っておきたいパラオ:かつてのボーダーランズの記憶を旅する』札幌:北海道大学出版会 [近刊]


[Contact] Edward Boyle
[Telephone] 080-9143-0948
[E-mail] boyle★
Please change the ★ in your email address to @.


Young Leaders’ Forum: Promoting Engagement on Heritage and Memory
-Asia Week Spin Off Event, Kyushu University Border Studies- NEW

*The Program is subject to change due to circumstances.

Date & Time November 5, 2020
Venue The event will consist of a series of joint online/onsite events

[Event Details]
This Young Leader’s Forum is devoted to asking if sites of heritage can incorporate and promote diverse histories and memories. It will be hosted as part of Kyushu University’s Asia Week by Kyushu University Border Studies, in collaboration with the National University of Taiwan, Victoria University of Wellington, and the Asia New Zealand Foundation.

The Forum will focus on contemporary issues of heritage and memory in the Asia Pacific, and will:

  • Explore the potential places for indigenous heritage within national identity;
  • Reflect on territorial disputes as open to contestation and amelioration as heritage;
  • Understand how heritage engagement impacts across scales, from local to global.

The Forum will be held online through Kyushu University Border Studies on 5th November 2020.

Graduate students interested in taking part in the Forum should send a short (around 500 word) statement of interest to the organizers at by September 15.

[Related Link] Call – Young Leaders Forum_Nov 5


 [Contact Name] Edward Boyle
 [E-mail] bordersofmemory★
 Please change the ★ in your email address to @.

Contesting Memorial Spaces in the Asia-Pacific
-Asia Week Spin Off Event, Kyushu University Border Studies- NEW

*The Program is subject to change due to circumstances.

Date & Time November 6-7, 2020
Venue Online (Zoom)
Outline HERE for Conference Outline
Full Programme HERE for Full Programme
Registration Please register from HERE for November 6 (Day 1)
Please register from HERE for November 7 (Day 2)

 On 6-7 November 2020, Kyushu University Border Studies will host an international conference
 devoted to the operation and conceptualization of contested memorial spaces.

 Across the two days, the conference features eight panels examining the temporality and territoriality
 of memory, explorations of official and marginalized memorials, new spaces of mnemonic performance,
 and national and transnational memorial networks. It will also host two plenary roundtables,
 discussing tangible and intangible heritage practices, and the affective power of territorial disputes.



 [Contact Name] Edward Boyle
 [E-mail] boyle★
 Please change the ★ in your email address to @.

Q-Webinar of Collaborative Studies on SDGs in Asia

UCSD-Kyushu U Joint Webinar:SDGs THINK and ACT together

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