Dark Tourism Jan20

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Dark Tourism

Wednesday, Jan 20. 12-2 pm.

Room 120, C.K. Choi Building. UBC. Free event.

Speaker: Dr. Kaori Yoshida (Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University) The Complexity of Dark Tourism: Packaging ‘Edutainment’ of War Tourism in Japan 

Sponsors: Centre for Japanese Research

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Park and the Nagasaki Peace Park are internationally recognized war-related tourist destinations. While these ‘A-bomb’ sites have been often criticized for relying on “victim consciousness”, the discussion of interpretation and presentation of these sites has become extremely complex.

Comparing two war-related destinations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, this talk discusses contrasting relationships of memorial and touristic sites presented at the destinations. It explores how the memory of A-bomb tragedy has been constructed, interpreted, publicized, and embedded in war tourism, by examining various tourist materials including brochures and school trip promotional materials.

Certainly both cities remain focal destination for historical education for the young generations of contemporary Japan. Yet, while Hiroshima seems to take an approach to highlight the destination as the symbol of national of tragedy, Nagasaki well blends educational component of war memorials in an aesthetic cultural landscape of a historic city. The findings from the study further our understanding the complexity of war and tourism at the two destinations.