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Friday, April 6 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
FR3.30.15 Two Types of Urban Public Memorial Landscapes in Japan: A Case Study on the Commemoration of Bombing Victims

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The purpose of this poster presentation is to discuss the reasons that bombing victims are commemorated in public Japanese city spaces, in both a religious and a secular context.


During the Second World War, many major cities across Japan were bombed, which resulted in high rates of civilian death. After the war, many monuments were built to commemorate the victims of those bombings. Memorial events have also been held in the affected areas. Although it has been over 70 years since the war ended, memorial events have been held at these monuments annually. This is especially true in the public spaces of Tokyo, where bombing victims are prayed for during religious events. In contrast, events in the public spaces of Hiroshima are performed secularly.


In this study, two key stages of research were undertaken. First, we examined monuments established to commemorate the bombing victims in the public spaces of the main affected areas in Tokyo and Hiroshima. In total, 21 monuments in Tokyo and 46 monuments in Hiroshima were studied. Second, memorial events for the victims of bombings, which took place in front of monuments, were also examined. A total of 10 memorial events in Tokyo and 10 cases in Hiroshima were attended. We then analyzed the materials obtained from the fieldwork, and focused on the relationship between public spaces and religion.


In this poster presentation, we will discuss the two types of urban public memorial landscapes in Japanese society. In particular, we will discuss how research data reveal the ways in which public memorial landscapes are established in the cities of Hiroshima and Tokyo. In Hiroshima, monuments are officially approved by the administration, while monuments in Tokyo receive silent approval. Throughout this poster presentation, we will discuss the effects of recognition and conception on the public memorial landscape.


Yutaka Kimura, University of Tsukuba


Friday April 6, 2018 3:30pm - 4:00pm
Provincial Ballroom (2nd Floor)