Vol 37 (2017): Special issue: Generations and Memory: Continuity and Change
Reflections from Practitioners

Oral History Research across Cultures and Languages: Reflections from the Study of ‘Japanese Orphans’ in China and Japan

Zhang Lan
Jinan University, Guangzhou
Published March 31, 2017


This article reflects on oral history research conducted with three generations of ‘Japanese orphans’ in China and Japan. In a context involving differences in cultural experience between interviewer and narrators, interview methods must emphasize dialogue, and position the interviewer as a listener. In particular, this reflection the linguistic differences were handled, how effective responses were elicited, how results were disseminated, and how a principle of flexibility can inform to practice of oral history.