The Dilemma of Anime in Peace Museums

The 10th International Conference of Museums for Peace

Title: The Dilemma of Anime in Peace Museums

Author: Joachim Alt, PhD Candidate, Hokkaido University (Japan)

Abstract: One essential piece of the exhibits at Japanese Peace Museums are domestically produced animation movies (anime). While the films usually are a collection of a variety of more or less popular titles, they often also encompass originally produced works. Obviously, these productions work to attract some of the respective museums’ visitors and might be an unexpected eye-catcher for example for less interested students visiting a museum on a field trip. As such, their exclusiveness at the respective museums is justified. But on the other hand, this exclusiveness is counterproductive to the mission of peace museums, namely the promotion of peace and education on for example World War II. Especially when looking at the function of media in shaping the collective memory of an event, regional exclusiveness of films can create a similarly regional disparity in the collective memory and as such in the angle on the effects of the war. Consequently, considering the mission behind them, the question whether such films should be offered for example in a centralized archive arises. The purpose of this presentation is to further expand on this question.