First Advisor

Ken Ruoff

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Art History and University Honors




Museums -- Political aspects -- China -- Lüshun, Nationalism – China, Lüshun (China) -- History, Collective memory -- Political aspects -- China, Historical museums -- China -- Lüshun, Communist parties




This paper explains how the traumatic history narrative put forth through the Lüshun Russo-Japanese Prison Museum has proven itself useful to the Chinese Communist Party in creating a narrative that not only fosters a sense of loyalty to the state, but can also be used as a political ace card. After closely examining the Lüshun Russo-Japanese Prison Museum it has become evident that the Chinese push for pragmatic nationalism, which began in 1994 and continues to this day, coupled with a flamed fire against "Japanese aggression" are the most active ingredients in the museum as a "National Defense Education Demonstration Base." The paper studies the history and curatorial design of the Lüshun Russo-Japanese Prison Museum, along with a review of the modern East Asian Memory wars, in order to better understand how the museum contributes to the overall national narrative of patriotic heritage. Ultimately, the paper argues that the Lüshun Russo-Japanese Prison Museum is used to create and encourage a very specific narrative about China that influences a sense of identity for Chinese nationals.


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