Between War and Peace, Past and Future: Experiencing the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
EntityUAM. Departamento de Psicología Básica
10.1007/s12124-022-09723-2Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science (2022): 1-22
ISSN1932-4502 (print); 1936-3567 (online)
Funded byOpen Access funding provided thanks to the CRUE-CSIC agreement with Springer Nature
SubjectsA-Bomb; Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park; Memorials; Memory politics; Subjective camera; Themata; Psicología
Rights© The Author(s) 2022
Esta obra está bajo una Licencia Creative Commons Atribución 4.0 Internacional.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is widely known as a universal symbol of peace, but there have not been studies of how people actually experience and interpret it. This article presents a detailed case study of a visit to the memorial by using an innovative methodology based on the use of subjective cameras (subcams). Results show that despite the monolithic idea of peace that the memorial officially represents, it is experienced and interpreted in terms of a constant tension which exposes conflicts in post-war Japan memory politics. The dichotomies of war/peace, death/life, past/future, and old /new emerge as part of the participant’s encounter with different situations during his visit. This is particularly clear where he perceives border zones and points of intersection. The article concludes by interpreting these dichotomies through the notion of themata, as elementary dichotomies that underlie a social debate around a specific topic. Specifically, two themata are proposed: one revolving around the temporal problematisation of the past and the future in the memory politics of the A-Bomb, and the other revolving around the spatial dichotomy between the old and the new underlying Hiroshima’s urban renewal
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