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Japanese films that depict the Japanese atomic bomb experience - Essay Example

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Name: Course: Tutor: Date: Japanese films that depict the Japanese atomic bomb experience Introduction The immediate years following the end of the WWII (Second World War), American as well as Japanese comic book/manga artists reproduced and helped form their worlds of popular culture…
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Japanese films that depict the Japanese atomic bomb experience
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Download file to see previous pages In Japan, manga artists developed stories with sharp edges because their heroes tackled not only villains but also calamity, anguish and eventually a call for accountability. Although comic book/manga industries had different roles in their societies, post-war cartoonists on both sides spilled a great deal of ink in trying to grasp the promise and perils created by the onset of atomic age. For the Japanese, when the bomb was dropped, it marked the actual onset of the story and the horrors of Hiroshima form the dominant image of the Japanese collective memory of the war, which meant many Japanese considered themselves victims of unwarranted aggression (Szasz and Issei 729). However, the American occupation of Japan between 1945 and 19950 saw the censorship of all references to atomic themes from Japanese writers. Nevertheless, from mid 1950s onward, voices of Japanese politicians, intellectuals, cartoonists and people affected by the bomb gradually began to emerge (Szasz and Issei 730). The post-war culture reflected a polarized perspective because the Americans considered it a triumph while the Japanese considered it a tragedy. If the atomic power produced American animals determined to bring about justice, the Japanese writers approached the theme from very distinct perspectives. An example of radiation-powered creature rests in Japanese film Godzilla in 1954. Based on the heated atmosphere with regard to the atomic bomb, came the infamous fictional monster Godzilla where the film begins with the Godzilla attacking a fishing boat. After the monster became exposed to radiation from hydrogen bomb test, the creature emerges as a forty-five-foot monster. Godzilla acts as a powerful allegory regarding the dangers of hydrogen, which depicts their collective memory of the attack and its consequences (Szasz and Issei 744-745). In its initial form, Godzilla was an allegory and not a direct atomic statement and because of the relative silence with regard to the moral issues involved, Barefoot Gen holds a unique position in the history of the literature (Szasz and Issei 746). The period between 1945 and 1970 witnessed few American or Japanese creative artists raise the question of responsibility for the decision of using the atomic weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This shows that although it was few years since the end of the war, the people’s memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were fresh in the minds of Japanese citizens. Barefoot Gen is truly extraordinary within manga, Atomic-bomb related films and atomic anime because of the way it deals with the issue. While other works dealing with the issue focus on lives of survivors in post-war period, Barefoot Gen offers a wide focus because it does not shy from the crucial issues regarding restriction on freedom of thought and freedom of speech in pre-war Japan. Barefoot Gen is one of the main Atomic-bomb related works developed in Japan to address the issue of residents were treated during that period; hence, offering collective memory of the war (Szasz and Issei 749). Despite the gravity of the issue and the tragedies that occurred throughout the tale of Barefoot Gen, the tale is infused with life-affirming joviality, which is not a small part because of the way Gen and other children are portrayed (Szasz and Issei 750). It clear that by living their wits, children amid the post-war confusion were far energetic and resilient compared to the adult ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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