• air raids;
  • exemplary memory;
  • memorials;
  • public memory;
  • Tokyo


The one public memorial built to remember the many people killed in air raids directed against the civilian population of Tokyo during the Asia-Pacific War bears traces of deeper stories related to a prior catastrophe, the effects of the U.S. occupation of Japan, war memory, political power at the municipal and national level, and the ability of citizens' groups to create public sites of exemplary memory. This article examines key chapters of those stories by tracing the dynamics of collective memory as related to the movement to remember the air raids and build a Tokyo Peace Museum. It concludes with an analysis of the existing memorial as a space of literal memory.