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Institute for Japanese Studies Lecture: Ann Sherif, "Democracy in Hiroshima (1945-1968)


Monday, November 19, 2018, 4:30PM - 6:00PM


The Institute for Japanese Studies presents: Ann Sherif, Department of East Asian Studies and Japanese, Oberlin College, titled, "Democracy in Hiroshima (1945-1968): Shikoku Gorō and Art as Method."

During his 2016 visit to Hiroshima, President Obama didn’t apologize for the U.S. military’s atomic bombing, aware of U.S. discourses of the bomb and of people in Asia who knew Japan’s past imperialism and militarism.  In contrast, the Peace Museum in Hiroshima has recently removed historical   exhibits designed to promote this kind of nuanced understanding of the nuclear age’s complex history. When public history thus alters the narrative, the arts can play a crucial role in promoting citizen awareness. As a case study in the challenges to activist art in a democracy like post-1945 Japan, this paper examines the work of Hiroshima-born artist and Imperial Army veteran Shikoku Gorō (1924-2014), who employed the arts effectively as a means to protest nuclear weapons and injustice, to advocate for hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors), and to grapple with his role in Japan’s militarist expansionism. His work are enjoying a revival today.

This event is free and open to the public.

Location : 062 Hagerty Hall
Contact : East Asian Studies Center

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