Islands of "Dark" and "Light/Lite" Tourism : War-Related Contents Tourism around the Seto Inland Sea Islands of "Dark" and "Light/Lite" Tourism : War-Related Contents Tourism around the Seto Inland Sea (SPECIAL ISSUE : War, Tourism, and Modern Japan)
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This article examines the phenomenon of war-related contents tourism on five small islands in the area of the Seto Inland Sea. While the majority of Japan's densely populated metropolitan areas have complex war histories and networks of commemorative sites and/or tourist sites, small islands are associated with a singular war experience or memory that sustains a tourist attraction on the island. Focusing on such islands allows insights into the ways in which films, novels, games, and other forms of popular culture induce tourism to war-related sites. First, the concept of war-related contents tourism is defined via a critique of the in-vogue concept of dark tourism and its Japanese counterpart, dāku tsūrizumu. Then, the dynamics of war-related tourism are depicted in five island case studies: Ōkunoshima (Hiroshima prefecture, "Rabbit Island" and site of a poison gas factory), Shōdoshima (Kagawa prefecture, setting of the novel/film Twenty-four Eyes), Okinoshima (Wakayama prefecture, a coastal gun battery popular now as a site of cosplay), Ōzushima (Yamaguchi prefecture, a training base for kaiten suicide attack submarines), and Nōmishima (Hiroshima prefecture, site of the Etajima Naval Academy). These islands are also examples of media tourism or contents tourism, where the representation of the history in entertainment formats or the promotion of tourism for "leisure and pleasure" has made the war-related tourism seem more akin to "light/lite tourism" than "dark tourism."
- Japan review : journal of the International Research Center for Japanese Studies
Japan review : journal of the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (33), 299-327, 2019
International Research Center for Japanese Studies