The Image of the Atomic Bomb in Japan before Hiroshima(<Special Issue>Beyond Differences: International Comparison on Nuclear Histories in Japan, Korea, and the United States)
This paper traces the roots of the image of the atomic bomb in Japan by investigating the various discourses on atomic energy and atomic weapons in Japanese literature prior to the bombing of Hiroshima in August 1945. Japan is a country that suffered an atomic attack and, at the same time, one of the countries that was engaged in atomic weapons research during the Second World War. During the war, the discourses on atomic weapons were not limited to the military or scientific communities, but included the general public, thus facilitating the creation of a shared image of the atomic bomb as an ultimate weapon. This paper examines how this image was created. This special issue deals with the comparison among different countries, but the purpose of my paper is to deepen this subject by illustrating the differences within a single country in different periods. This research aims to extend the historical perspective concerning the atomic bomb in Japan, and offers another way of looking at this both historical and contemporary issue.