Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

12-2006

Abstract

This article examines historical transformations of Japanese collective memory of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima by utilizing a theoretical framework that combines a model of reiterated problem solving and a theory of cultural trauma. I illustrate how the event of the nuclear fallout in March 1954 allowed actors to consolidate previously fragmented commemorative practices into a master frame to define the postwar Japanese identity in terms of transnational commemoration of "Hiroshima." I also show that nationalization of trauma of "Hiroshima" involved a shift from pity to sympathy in structures of feeling about the event. This historical study suggests that a reiterated problem-solving approach can be efficacious in analyzing how construction of national memory of a traumatic event connects with the recurrent reworking of national identity, on the one hand, and how a theory of cultural trauma can be helpful in exploring a synthesis of psychological and sociological approaches to commemoration of a traumatic event, on the other.

Keywords

Emotional trauma, atomic bomb victims, history, Japan, national characteristics

Discipline

Asian Studies | Peace and Conflict Studies | Sociology

Research Areas

Sociology

Publication

Sociological Theory

Volume

24

Issue

4

First Page

353

Last Page

376

ISSN

0735-2751

Identifier

10.1111/j.1467-9558.2006.00295.x

Publisher

American Sociological Association

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9558.2006.00295.x

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