This paper focuses on the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor in 2016. War memorials are generally considered agents of national thanksgiving, but paying closer attention to more diverse perspectives makes it possible to see more complicated commemorative practices that generate alternative narratives of wars and nationalism. The paper discusses a speech Abe gave at the memorial and the coverage of his visit in major Japanese newspapers to explore the changing meaning of Pearl Harbor to the people in Japan. The speech and the coverage enabled a new Japanese narrative that re-contextualizes the meaning of the iconic "Remember Pearl Harbor" phrase from a vision of military confrontation in the past to a future political alliance between the two nations. The paper shows the malleability of the significance of war memorials while also demonstrating the powerful grip of nationalism and political agenda over them.


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pp. 34-47
Launched on MUSE
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