Cultural Studies

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Sample text

When planning for commemoration, city elites did not ignore residents’ needs for a place of mourning. Mourning and the need for solace were an important part of debates over commemoration. However, Hiroshima City, which was facing severe financial difficulties, took the course of trying to exploit the symbolic capital that Hiroshima now possessed for acquiring funds for reconstruction. This resulted in an emphasis of the transformation narrative over other explanations for the tragedy. The effort to contain and explain the bomb took many forms.

The BCOF (British Commonwealth Occupation Forces – the Hiroshima region was under their command) commander, General Robertson, told the audience “in the past your country received so much from the allied nations. Japan was once an ally of Great Britain, but you betrayed that trust.  94. 56 Ibid. 57 Ibid.  13. ”59 Robertson was harshly criticized by Time magazine. S.

30 One of the first calls for a more permanent commemoration on the site of the bombing came in December 1945 in the form of an appeal to the city to build a memorial tower (kuyo¯to¯ – a Buddhist term). 31 It was hard to separate mourning from forward-looking peace discourse. If one wished to talk of the dead, it had to be in the terms that were permissible. With censorship, the only safe way to mourn was by connecting Hiroshima’s destruction to peace. Accordingly, the victims, almost immediately, were made victims for peace (rather than victims of war).

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