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Taboos and Censorship in Japan Postwar Art

Mutually Assured Decorum

By Ashley Rawlings

An irreverent artist group’s unannounced act of skywriting ignites controversy over the acceptable representation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki’s atomic tragedies and raises questions about the taboo of addressing Japan’s wartime aggression.

Photo documentation of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, on August 6, 1945. 

Courtesy Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Hiroshima.

“Although we don’t know what to do about nuclear weapons, or how to live with nuclear weapons, we are slowly learning how to write about them,” wrote British novelist and anti-nuclear campaigner Martin
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