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Discourses of War and Peace$
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Adam Hodges

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199937271

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199937271.001.0001

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Narrating War and Peace at the Battle Ruins

Narrating War and Peace at the Battle Ruins

Okinawan Tourism-Activism Discourses

(p.249) 11 Narrating War and Peace at the Battle Ruins
Discourses of War and Peace

Taku Suzuki

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines tour-guiding narrations of war and peace by sightseeing bus guides and peace activists who provide tour guiding at the former battlefields in Okinawa, Japan. Okinawa was the site of the devastating Battle of Okinawa in 1945, and it has hosted the overwhelming majority of the US military bases in Japan after the war. While the sightseeing guides melodramatically describe the brutal deaths of the battle victims, and contrast them with the tourists’ pleasure in the “peaceful” present, the activist-guides remind them of the continuity between the past and present military violence and urge them to consider that the tragic battle was never inevitable, but could have been averted. The chapter argues that the former perpetuates what Lauren Berlant calls the “sentimentalist” view of peace, which equates peace with the absence of personal pain, while the latter promotes a highly politicized vision of “positive” peace, proposed by Johan Galtung.

Keywords:   tourism, activism, Japan, Okinawa, tour guiding, World War II, sentimentalism, peace education

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