2011 年 5 巻 p. 1-29
This article analyses the transformation of Japanese popular images concerning nuclear power between 1945 and 1965. The main material for the analysis was a Japanese weekly illustrated magazine, Asahi Graph, which was not only a representative example of Japanese illustrated magazines, but also the mass medium that in 1952 popularized visual images of the damage caused by two atomic bombs. In addition, this article shall use popular manga, anime and films related to nuclear power as complementary sources. From the analysis, I distinguish five consecutive images concerning nuclear power. (1) Hiroshima/Nagasaki as events of local significance before 1952, (2) Hiroshima/Nagasaki as national disasters after 1952, (3) Japan as a victimized nation of the Nuclear Age after 1954 when the Lucky Dragon Incident happened, (4) Japan as an advanced technological nation in the Scientific Age in the late 1950s, and (5) Hiroshima/Nagasaki as the past already surmounted from the early 1960s. I describe the rise and fall of these images concerning nuclear power, linking them to the changes the nation’s self-portrait underwent in the post-war period. In the final paragraphs, I point to several blind spots in Japan’s self-image that can be discerned from the history of images of nuclear power.