As the clock continues to count down for this semester, I have been been steadily making progress on my project. At this point in the process, I can comfortably state that I have firmly decided on a direction and methodology for my map of Japanese war memory. While I had to scale back on my overall scope given the difficulty of acquiring general information regarding local sites of war memory/war memorials (let alone the geospatial data!) as per my initial plan, I have decided to focus primarily on well-known and well advertised sites of war memory, beginning with those of national prestige, such as Yasukuni Shrine and the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Peace Memorials. I will then work my way down through the more prefectural sites as best I can with the remaining time that I have. My new goal is to have at least 20 locations plotted on my map, which will be hosted on a separate page in this very blog!
After careful consideration of the ethical concerns raised by Ethan Watrall, I have decided to use Leaflet as the primary vehicle for plotting sites of war memory in Japan, with my map tiles/panes acquired from Openstreetmap. This will allow me ample flexibility to address any number of issues that might arise without having to worry about solutions being locked behind an expensive pay-wall. Also, Leaflet has a number of add-ons that allow me to further enhance my map. Although the geospatial plotting of sites of war memory is the crux of my project, given that I will only be plotting a relatively small number of points during this semester, if possible, I would like to add detailed information (including pictures and perhaps web links to relevant websites) that will hopefully enhance the experience of those who engage with my map.
I believe that, while small now, this project has the potential to actually impact the study of war memory in Japan and perhaps has further implications for studies of memory in general. I hope to help establish a sense of the “memory networks” in place in Japan in a way that builds on earlier scholarship (digital and otherwise) that does the same in other parts of the world. Additionally, this visual representation of the geospatial relationships between sites of war memory should prove invaluable to my own research and may actually become a dimension of/supplement to my dissertation. Perhaps I’m being overly ambitious and overstating the impact of my humble work, but a boy can dream, right?
Also, please find a current bibliography to be updated with more primary source material as my project progresses here: War Memory Mapping Bibliography (First Draft) This list as it stands represents examples to be built upon and readings that have informed my theoretical/structural approach to my project.
Mahalo for reading this whole thing, yet again!