Tuesday, July 28, 2015

"The Nationalist Assault on Japan’s Local Peace Museums: The Conversion of Peace Osaka"

New content on Japan Focus by Phillip Seaton:

In April 2015, Peace Osaka, a publicly-funded museum famous for its hard-hitting exhibits about Japan’s wars of the 1930s and 1940s, reopened after a “renewal”. In the new exhibits, discussion of Japanese aggression and atrocities has been completely removed and the stance of the museum has changed from progressive to conservative. Based on a photographic record of the pre- and post-“renewal” exhibits, this essay discusses in what ways and why Peace Osaka has changed under three headings: physical conversion, mission conversion and ideological conversion. The process of conversion started with nationalist campaigns to revise and undermine the exhibits during the 1990s and was ultimately realized under conservative local governments in the 2010s. The conversion is not simply a sign of the recent “shift to the right” in Japanese politics under the administration of Abe Shinzō. Instead, it reveals a longer-term issue of nationalist assaults on the narratives in local peace museums and the vulnerabilities of progressive official narratives.

Please do read the whole text: http://japanfocus.org/-Philip-Seaton/4348/article.html

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