chapter  9
16 Pages

In the light of Hiroshima

Banalizing violence and normalizing experiences of the atomic bombing
WithYuki Miyamoto

In 2008, an artist group Chim↑Pom drew the word, “pika,” over Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park to sober up people in Japan. Since “pika” is an onomatopoeia that indicates a flashing light, which historically refers to the atomic bombing in Hiroshima, their performance invited a controversy. Unlike their claim, I argue that their performance offered nothing new, but was a continuation of banalization and normalization of violence—downplaying the harms done to the human body by the bomb—both in the US and Japan. I will show it in the perceptions of injured female bodies in both countries in the 1950s.