Journal of the Asia-Japan Research Institute of Ritsumeikan University
Online ISSN : 2435-0192
Print ISSN : 2435-0184
Out of the Destruction of Hiroshima: the Social History from Primary Sources of Rebuilding Human Lives during the City's Reconstruction
Marina NISHII
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JOURNAL OPEN ACCESS

2019 Volume 1 Pages 16-28

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Abstract

This paper reconsiders the war damage reconstruction of Hiroshima, an A-bomb damaged city. In particular, we will focus on the feelings and experiences of the inhabitants, because many of them were forced to evacuate due to land demarcation and the construction of roads or parks in the process of the reconstruction. The historical reality of their story has been omitted from the history of postwar Japan, which has been hailed as a proud achievement of reconstruction from the ruins, and local cases have not been investigated enough. We will dig up and review the experiences of the individual inhabitants, mainly by analyzing the petitions that were written objecting to the reconstruction works during the period from 1945 through the 1950s. The reconstruction projects aimed to revive the A-bombed city, but they failed to consider the complicated psychologies of inhabitants who lost their lands, homes, and livelihoods through the reconstruction plan. The narrative of the petitions enables us to know how people were trying to improve the situation that they found themselves in through the arbitrary changing of the boundary lines of their houses and their lands. The inhabitants are an important constituent of a city by their concrete conception of their living place. This study shows why studying wardamage reconstruction from local cases and people’s viewpoints is important.

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© 2019 Asia-Japan Research Institute of Ritsumeikan University
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