War Is Always a Collective Essay

Pages: 4 (1227 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Drama - World

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .
Shigematsu also received the same dose of radiation that she did, perhaps more, but is never shown with any visible signs of the sickness, while he seems to both remember and forget the events of the bombing, with denial and memory "continually recycling and replenishing the other" (Cavanaugh 257). Yuichi acts out his battle memories in public, however, and others join in to play parts in the drama, and later his stone Jizo statues, with faces "anguish, terror, pain" serve as his silent audience (Cavanaugh 265). Many survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki also used art, sculpture and writing to preserve memories of the bombing that were denied and covered up by official sources.

Yasuko also has flashbacks to Hiroshima immediately before the bombing, such as loading her grandmother's kimonos on a truck and celebrating a tea ceremony, while her uncle recalled boarding a commuter train that morning. Black Rain does not address life in wartime Japan at all and from an ideological point-of-view regards Yosuko and Yuichi as having both been victimized equally by the conflict. When the bomb goes off in the morning of August 6th, it "interrupts not an ordinary breakfast but a sacred and timeless ritual with strong domestic and religious connotations" (Canvanaugh 256). This old continuity is never restored, although Shigematsu keeps making the attempt to return to some type of normality, but in the end the world is too sick and disjointed. Only when Yosuko is clearly about to die does he realize that his attempts to suppress and deny memory are futile.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Essay on War Is Always a Collective Assignment

Yuichi resembles the generation of postwar poets in Japan, usually veterans with terrible experiences of the war, who did not intend to have their experiences denied or diminished in the name of a new Cold War alliance. As usually, novels and poetry reflected these personal experiences that opposed the official, collective memory and ideology far more than mass media like film. Even though war is a national event and a collective human experience, poetry also describes the type of experience that "eludes fixation in words and appears irrevocably lost" (Sakai 178). These postwar poets (sengo shi) resembled the British poets who returned sick and disillusioned by the First World War, and even wrote about the "Arechi" or "Waste Land." In Germany and Japan, collective history preferred to restore some type of continuity with a prewar -- or at least pre-fascist -- past, but these war poets demanded discontinuity. Unlike the official propaganda during the war, thought glorified heroic death and sacrifice, Tamura Ryuichi demanded that "we have to kill all those we are familiar with" rather than attempting to restore the old society (Sakai 183). This is certainly what occurs in Black Rain as well, although Yuichi survives to portray it in his art. Ehara Tsurao opposed all attempts at collective representation that concealed conflict, death, destruction and defeat, as both the U.S. And Japan attempted to do with Hiroshima, and also called upon audiences to "resist the fiction of collective sympathy" (Sakai 184). Tamura also stated that no country on earth was worth dying for, and that death creates a "critical situation that is not masked" (Sakai 181). They would have opposed official or collective attempts to deny the reality of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or of the war in general, in favoring of allowing those who experienced these events to tell their stories openly, without censorship, shame or government manipulation and propaganda.

WORKS CITED

Cavanaugh, Carole, "A Working Ideology for Hiroshima: Imanura Shohel's Black Rain" in Dennis Washburn and Carole Cavanaugh (eds). Word and Image in Japanese Cinema. Cambridge University Press, 2001.

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