Postmemorial Conservatism at Yasukuni Today
Chapter 6 examines recent attempts by the shrine administration and supporters to reintroduce their ideas of memorialization in ways that are relevant to postmemory generations. I introduce the ways that management and supporters of Yasukuni Shrine have attempted to reinvent the institution for the twenty-first century with the younger generation in mind. This revisionist history is finding an increasingly receptive audience in contemporary Japan. I find in this trend the postmemory generations’ need for a conservative (and redemptive) discourse for the purpose not only of overcoming their inherited past, but also evading the issue of war responsibility that inadvertently was taken on from previous generations. I suggest here a reciprocal reinforcement between the attempt for the shrine to look back to (draw from) the past to entice its audience and the postmemory generations’ desire to reconstruct an idealized past so that they may overcome their inherited trauma.
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