A Museum for Citizens to Learn about History and Create Peace
The 10th International Conference of Museums for Peace
Title: A Museum for Citizens to Learn about History and Create Peace
Author: Keisuke Okamura, Vice director of Grassroots House (Japan)
Abstract: The Peace Museum was established in November 1989. The pillars of our activities are "dealing with Japan’s aggression, resistance and damage by war". We believe that unless we are aware of the fact that we are the perpetrators of the invasion of China and other Asian countries and their colonial policies, we will not be able to truly make friendships with the people of Asia, and we have made a series of exchanges, investigations, and records through the "Journey for Peace in China" and "Journey for Peace in Korea" and published booklets denouncing the responsibility for the "Japan’s perpetration". Dealing with resistance, we have been conducting research on anti-war activists such as Kou Makimura, who risked his life to oppose the war of aggression, and we are working to carry on the spirit of those activists. Ko Makimura in particular has been introduced as "Takiji Kobayashi well known in the north of Japan and Ko Makimura in the south". In the area of "Damage," the museum is focusing on learning about the history of the people who experienced the extremes of attacks and damage by US air raids during World War II and the birth of the Peace Constitution through "storytelling" activities to tell the story of the air raids in Kochi and through the movement to preserve the remains of war. Now in its 31st year, the Peace Museum continues its activities by adding the theme of "creation" to the three pillars of its activities to address the question of what a post-coronavirus "peaceful" society should be.