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In Session: Dark Tourism in East and Southeast Asia: “Why Are Tourists Flocking to Human Tragedies?”
4: “No More Hiroshima(s)”: Dark Tourism, Narrative Construction and Hope for the Future
Friday, March 26, 2021
8:30am – 10:00am EDT
University of Findlay, United States
Peace Park in Hiroshima is a major inbound tourist destination in Japan. In 2019, almost 30 % of visitors to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum were foreign tourists. Hiroshima is unique as an inbound tourism site because unlike any other destination in Japan, the largest number of visitors come from the US, followed by Australia, although sightseers from Asian countries are also increasing. Dark Tourism in Hiroshima can be summarized in the political slogan, ”ノーモアヒロシマ [No More Hiroshima(s)],” which is said to have been used for the first time around 1948. The slogan is intended as an outcry to abolish the use and possession of nuclear weapons. However, historical analysis clearly reveals that the meaning of “No More Hiroshima” has gone through many different interpretations, reflecting domestic and international social and political trends over the course of the last 75 years. During the postwar period a number of organizations have emerged as a part of this trend, reconfiguring themselves as their interpretations of the slogan has changed (e.g., The Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, Gensuikin, KAKKIN). As at any dark tourism site, Hiroshima is a space where different narratives compete against each other at multiple levels ranging at personal, local, national and international. The author will present a historical analysis of “No More Hiroshima” and demonstrate how “No More Hiroshima” manifests itself in Japan’s tourism industry.