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The Horror of Details: Obsolescence and Annihilation in Miyako Ishiuchi’s Photography of Atomic Bomb Artifacts

  • Jani Scandura

Abstract

Even now, in Japan, there are “rules of decorum” associated with representing the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.1 Even now it is understood that the “art about the bombing should contain an explicit anti-war or pro-peace ‘message,’ or else respond to the tragedy with a sufficient air of gravity.”2 Even now, Hiroshima art that is too cheeky, too stylized, or too playful is subject to reproach. In Hiroshima Traces: Time, Space, and the Dialectics of Memory, Lisa Yoneyama acknowledges that “the nationalized remembering of Hiroshima has … never been monolithic or without contradictions” in Japan.3 Nonetheless, she argues,

Whether within the mainstream national historiography, which remembers Hiroshima’s atomic bombing as victimization experienced by the Japanese collectivity, or in the equally pervasive, more universalistic narrative on the bombing that records it as having been an unprecedented event in the history of humanity, Hiroshima memories have been predicated on the grave obfuscation of the prewar Japanese Empire, its colonial practices, and their consequences.4

Keywords

Atomic Bomb Camera Lucida Oxford English Dictionary Pearl Harbor Sewing Machine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 3.
    Lisa Yoneyama, Hiroshima Traces: Time, Space, and the Dialectics of Memory ( Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999 ), 15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    See Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, The Spirit of Hiroshima: An Introduction to the Atomic Bomb Tragedy ( Hiroshima: City of Hiroshima, 1999 ), 46.Google Scholar
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    Cited in Carol Mavor, Black and Blue: The Bruising Passion of Camera Lucida, La Jet é e, Sans Soleil, and Hiroshima Mon Amour ( Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012 ), 149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Rob Wilson, American Sublime: The Genealogy of a Poetic Genre ( Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1991 ).Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Babette B. Tischleder and Sarah Wasserman 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jani Scandura

There are no affiliations available

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