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Remodelling Public Space: The Fate Of War Monuments, 1945–48

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Chapter Summary

Many aspects of American cultural policy during the occupation are well known. The author already possesses a clear picture of the measures taken to control the press, or to censor novels and movies. The first Japanese ministerial directives concerning the question of funeral ceremonies and commemorative monuments date from November 1946, which coincides with the promulgation of the new Constitution. Nevertheless, it might appear that American policy towards Japanese war monuments was somehow unclear, in fact, when we look closely at Civil Information and Education section's (CIEs) archives, we realize that it was taken very seriously. What the author is saying about social space could also be said about people's conscience. The removal of monuments and their ambiguous resurgence after 1952 created a situation from which no hero was able to emerge. Post-war Japan is a country that has neither positive nor negative, or evil, heroes.

Keywords: American policy; Civil Information and Education section (CIEs); Japanese war monuments; social space



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