Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Degree Program

History

Department

History

Major Professor

Gunter Bischof

Second Advisor

Allan Millet

Third Advisor

Charles Chamberlain

Abstract

The Japanese government has a vested interest in either avoiding discussion of its war-torn past or arguing for a revisionist take. The need to play up Japanese victimization over Japanese aggression during World War II has led to many museums having their exhibits censored or revised to fit this narrative goal. During the 1990’s, Japan’s national discourse was more open to discussions of war crimes and the damage caused by their aggression. This in turn led to the creation of many “peace museums” that are intended to discuss and confront this history as frankly as possible. At the beginning of the 21st century, public discourse turned against these museums and only private museums have avoided censorship. Some museums, like the Osaka International Peace Center, have been devastated by the censorship. This museum and other museums with similar narrative issues raise questions about appropriate narrative on display. What is appropriate to censor for the sake of respect for the dead? What must be included for the sake of historical accuracy and honesty about the past? These questions are investigated at four different peace museums throughout Japan.

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

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