Thu. Apr. 18. 2019Field trip to the Kyoto Museum for World Peace
April 11, 2019 : Field trip to the Kyoto Museum for World Peace
Below is a report by Bellick Benjamin (KCJS30 Spring, Columbia College).
For the Warrior Tradition of Japan class, my classmates and I went to the Kyoto Museum for World Peace at Ritsumeikan University. Although I had already been with my classmates from Modern Representations of War and Peace in Japanese Literature, I found that there was still plenty to learn. This museum gives to its visitors the important opportunity of facing the horrors of war head-on. The first two-thirds focus exclusively on Japan during the Second Sino Japanese War and World War II. There is attention given to the non-Japanese affected by war, but particular attention is given to the Japanese themselves. We see the ways in which everyone, soldier or not, was pulled into the war effort. There was devastating censorship and every aspect of one’s livelihood had to be altered for protection, e.g. blacking out windows so that the lights could not be spotted from above and targeted by bombs. The last third of the museum is dedicated to war and similar atrocities happening throughout the world. The museum as a whole serves as a stark reminder that peace is something achieved not through passivity, but by actively preventing atrocity everywhere. I think that going to the Kyoto Museum for World Peace should be a part of every journey to Kyoto.