Organized Panel Session
Anti-communism was a persistent force in twentieth-century Asian history. This panel reaches beyond conventional approaches to anti-Communism—typically told as national narratives and situated in the Cold War—by examining the phenomenon from a transnational perspective that also accounts for a longer temporal span. The four papers of this panel investigate the flow of anti-Communism within Asia, as well as from Europe and America to Asia, from the 1920s to the 1960s. Key themes addressed are those of violence, ideology, and diplomacy. Nagatomi Hirayama explores how the European experience of the founders of the Chinese Youth Party shaped their antagonism to Communism in 1920s China. Colleen Woods focuses on the collaboration of US and Filipino elites in the repression of radical anti-imperialism in the Philippines in the 1930s. Robert Kramm-Masaoka investigates the threat of communism in connection to venereal disease and how this played out during the US occupation of Japan and Korea. Reto Hofmann examines how the Japanese Prime Minister, Kishi Nobusuke, leveraged anti-communism as a way to rebuild Japanese power in Asia in the 1950s and 1960s. The panel as a whole illustrates the centrality of anti-communism in shaping the politics and culture of Asia, as it latched on to state-building, post-colonial conflicts, and national imaginaries.