Hiroshima and Atomic Bomb: Suffering and Collective Memory

Monday, November 12, 2018
5:00 PM
6:00 PM
Social Sciences 1 & 2

The Japanese Studies Program invites everyone to

Hiroshima and Atomic Bomb: Suffering and Collective Memory

A talk by Dr. Masaya Nemoto
12 November 2018, Monday
5:00 - 6:00PM
Social Sciences Conference Rooms 1 & 2


Please sign-up here: https://goo.gl/forms/7j2qnKyqWgtO0dgW2



On August 6, 1945, in the final phase of the World War II, the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, followed by another nuclear bombing of Nagasaki three days later. The bomb completely destroyed the city of Hiroshima, killed and injured a bunch of citizens, and left the long-term effects of radiation on its survivors. It is violence which the victims have suffered from and struggled with for long time. On the other hand, the suffering experience of atomic bombing(s) became a source of creating unique ideas, actions, and collective identity. Today, in Hiroshima the experience of the atomic bombing means not only the suffering of the local people but also a global heritage as a warning for humanity such as “Never repeat it for human survival.” This presentation consists of two parts. First, the suffering of atomic bomb survivors will be explained. They have had physical, psychological, and other problems until today. Second, the connection between the suffering experience and collective identity will be explored. In Hiroshima the suffering of atomic bombing has been emphasized from the viewpoint of “humanity.” By looking into how and why this universalistic viewpoint was (and still is) embraced among Japanese people, I will talk about issues behind this attitude.
Masaya Nemoto (Ph.D. from Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo) is a Japanese sociologist and cultural anthropologist. He is currently a JSPS Researcher at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan. He recently published a book, Hiroshima Paradox: Sengo Nihon no Hankaku to Jindou Ishiki (Paradoxes of Hiroshima: Anti-nuclear Activism and Humanitarianism in Postwar Japan).