The World After Dark Tourism

Table of Contents

Before you is the third issue of Genron, the theme of which is “Escape from Postwar Japanese Art.” While thinking through the contents of the issue I had the full cooperation of art critic Yohei Kurose, a friend and regular contributor to the magazine.


The title of the issue suggests, first of all, the desire to both dismantle and update the theoretical framework of postwar Japan that describes it as a bad place [warui basho], setting limitations on the postwar art— no, the contemporary culture as a whole— of Japan. Since the theory’s introduction nearly twenty years ago by Noi Sawaragi in his Japan/Contemporary/Art (Nippon/gendai/bijutsu, 1998), this framework has, like a curse, continued to haunt the critical landscape of Japan. In reality, though, was Japan’s so-called postwar really all that peculiar? Even if it we concede that it was somehow unique, I suspect there would not be a universal framework by which we might relativize that uniqueness. This issue was in Kurose’s mind while paying the utmost respect to Sawaragi’s work. For potential answers to Kurose’s question we have assembled a round-table discussion between Sawaragi, Makoto Aida, and Reiji Ando, a translation of works by Hans Belting and others, as well as essays by Atsushi Shinfuji, Shigemi Inaga, and Seiichi Tsuchiya.

Additionally, I thought it might be possible to sneak in a different perspective to the same question from a place beyond the world of art criticism. For that reason I have included a brief introduction to the Korean exhibition known as the REAL DMZ PROJECT, an interview with the curator of said project Sunjung Kim, and an essay by media artist and critic Park Chan-kyong.

What we find being discussed in these works is the story of contemporary Korea. As such, at first glance they might seem to be of no relation to the theme of this issue, namely escaping from postwar Japanese art. However, for me, it is the introduction of such a project that pushes the discussion beyond art, dismantling the debates surrounding postwar Japan in general; I thought it was one key to escaping from the gravity of postwar Japan as a bad place. The reasons for this are as follows.


What is the REAL DMZ PROJECT? It is a contemporary art exhibit held every summer since 2012 at two venues, one a rural area near the border between North Korea and South Korea and the other a private art museum located in Seoul. The countryside exhibition at the former venue is closely tied to the tourism industry, and in 2015 the major village shops and bus stops were chosen for artists’ exhibition. Hosting for this event has received the cooperation of local governments; they are, in a sense, a type of what might be called regional art (chiiki art) in Japan. Though some Japanese artists do participate in the project, it remains relatively unknown in Japan. The article contained in this issue of Genron may very well be its first substantial introduction in the Japanese media.1


What does the DMZ of the title mean? I wrote that the exhibition venues are located near the border between North and South Korea. In reality, though, border in the normal, static sense of the word is an inaccurate expression because North and South Korea are technicially still in a state of war and as such do not acknowledge each other’s existence as nations; therefore, technically, a border as a national border also does not exist. Instead, what lies between the two countries is a military demarcation line drawn up with the 1953 cease-fire agreement of the Korean War. As part of the same agreement, and in addition to the military demarcation line, there was a demilitarized zone establshed. This demilitarized zone is often abbreviated as DMZ. The DMZ was intended to be four kilometers wide running north-south but in the course of the past 60 years North Korea and South Korea have continued to sporadically encroach each other’s so-called “border”; as a result, at certain spots this “border” has shrunk to a mere 700 meters. Even still, it extends 250 kilometers moving east to west, and this vast land covering a total area of 570 square kilometers has transformed into a no-man’s land where humans may not enter. Though slightly different from Sawaragi’s usage, we might say that the postwar condition gave birth to the DMZ, yet another bad place. The REAL DMZ PROJECT was designed to show that reality (the realness) of the demilitarized zone.

The military demarcation line of the Korean peninsula is known the world over as the site of one of the most tense national borders. In the fall of 2010, a serious conflict erupted at the border above the Yellow Sea that appeared to signal the onset of war; more recently, in the summer of 2015, landmines buried in the demilitarized zone by North Korea exploded, causing two South Korean soldiers to suffer serious injuries.

Interestingly enough, however, the South Korean government is enthusiastic about turning the DMZ and its surrounding areas into a tourist attraction. If you have visited Seoul before you are probably already familiar with trips to the DMZ, which are referred to as security tourism (anbo gwangwang) in Korean while tours geared towards foreigners are simply called DMZ tours. Both are heavily advertised, with brochures on display at any mid-level hotel and above.

Though billed as a tour of the DMZ, in reality you cannot actually enter the demilitarized zone. Just beyond the DMZ, however, is the Civilian Control Zone (CCZ), a space where entry by the general public is limited. Contained within the CCZ are numerous historical sites: remains from the Korean War, vestiges from North Korea’s attempt to invade South Korea, and leftover railroad tracks split in two at the border. These are all stops on government sanctioned tours; you can also climb an observation deck overlooking the DMZ and peer into a North Korean town just over the border. When relations between the two countries are stable, visitors are also able to enter into the Joint Security Area (JSA) of the DMZ, or Panmunjeom, and take commemorative photos with North Korean soldiers standing just over the border. (Needless to say the North Korean soldiers never crack a smile.) Such DMZ tours were at one time open only to foreign tourists. From the mid-1990s, however, Korean nationals were permitted to participate in the tours, which has since grown into a large tourist industry. Nearly everyday there are tour buses departing from hotels in Seoul, and a daily DMZ Train is operated by Korail (Korea Railroad Corporation). About 40 kilometers north of Seoul is Imjingak, a park known as the gateway to the DMZ Tour and home of the Bridge of Freedom. According to an official brochure, Imjingak attracts more than 5,000,000 visitors annualy. Within the park is the entrance to the Civilian Control Zone, but because the facility itself is free of charge it is difficult to determine exact attendance numbers. An annual count of 5,000,000 visitors places the DMZ Tour within the top twenty amusement parks in the world and makes it the third highest park in Korea after Lotte World (7,600,000 visitors) and Everland (7,380,000).2 Today the DMZ Tour is clearly a pillar of Korea’s tourism industry.

This sort of touristization is, of course, deeply intertwined with South Korean policy and ideology. Plans for the DMZ Tour were promoted by the so-called Sunshine Policy implemented from the late 1990s until the end of 2000s, a policy that aimed at easing tensions with the North. Therefore, publicly at least, the DMZ Tour must always present itself as hopeful for unification and seeking reconciliation with the North. And yet, the reality is much more complex. In fact, here and there on the tour participants are faced with exhibitions and videos that stress the threat of North Korea. For example, at the so-called Third Tunnel in Paju, visitors are guided by a seven-minute video. The tunnel itself was discovered in 1978 and is thought to have been constructed by North Korea in an attempt to invade the South. With a flashy soundtrack playing in the background, the high-tempo and well-edited video documents skirmishes with the North over the past half-century in a style reminiscent of a trailer for a big-budget war film. Watching the film, one loses sight of whether the Korean government is seeking peaceful reconciliation with the North or a final resolution vis-a-vis war. In any case, the screening room is equipped with headphones offering translations into Japanese and many other languages, and its purpose as propaganda especially designed for foreign tourists is obvious.

The target of the propaganda is not only foreigners. At the Cheorwon Peace Observatory our team passed what seemed to be a group of high school boys being led around by their teacher. The boys, clearly from the countryside, laughed innocently and gave the peace sign when our editor turned her camera on them. In a few years they, too, will be called upon to serve two years of compulsory military service. A few of them might actually confront the “enemy” while stationed at the border. In this way, security tourism also functions as an educational tool for a younger generation of South Koreans.


For the past few years I have been thinking about things in terms of dark tourism. Tourism as a concept assumes security. The term security comes from the Latin securitas, comprised of the Latin prefix se-, meaning “without,” and cura, meaning “anxiety” or “care.”

From this etymology we can extract a philosophically interesting analysis of the practice. Cura corresponds to care in English and Sorge in German. In other words, security suggests a favorable condition without care or Sorge. However, Martin Heidegger, the representative philosopher of the twentieth century, argued that it was precisely the existence of Sorge that makes humans humans. He argued that humans always have Sorge toward the world and, because they build relations with the world imbued with that tension, they can exist as an exceptional entity (existence) as a Being-in-the-World (In-der-Welt-Sein). If humans were to lose such Sorge or concern for the world then, perhaps, they would fall (verfallen) into becoming the “they” (das Man) surrounded by idle talk (Gerede).3

Heidegger’s claim (called existentialism) resonated with the political crises that began with the Second World War and continued throughout the Cold War; it was extremely influential during the middle of the twentieth century. Thus, in a sense, the twenty-first century disposition to only pursue security is equivalent to nothing other than to what was called falling (Verfallen) within the twentieth-century philosophical paradigm. Our contemporaries are constantly seeking security, namely a state in which concern for the world is not necessary. This is especially true for tourists. Tourists go to safe places where they can walk around a town freely, eat meals, buy souvenirs, and then head back home. They are able to do this because no one expects them to show any concern for the world, namely the politically and socially complicated reality around them. In Heidegger’s words, however, this is nothing more than a fall into becoming the the “they.” In fact, it is precisely so that we might become the “they”, become surrounded by idle talk, and eventually experience the fall that we head to tourist destinations.

Thus, we can say that dark tourism— the act of intentionally travelling to places that have at one time had their safety threatened by means of war, disaster, or genocide—is a self-contradiction, a paradox of tourism. You might even call it the deconstruction of tourism.

We flock to the sites of tragedy as tourists. We go because we are tourists. That is dark tourism. At such occasions the lands of tragedy demand concern. They call out for us to move beyond the fall. But as long as we are tourists we cannot answer their demand. It is there that we come to know the limits of tourism. Yet, and significantly, the reason we were able to know that limit is because at one time we became tourists; that is, because we were surrounded by idle talk and experienced the fall.

My interest in the DMZ Tour stems from the points outlined above. The DMZ Tour is a typical example of dark tourism. John Lennon and Malcolm Foley, scholars of tourism, offers three characteristics of dark tourism: “first, that global communication technologies play a major part in creating the initial interest […]; second, that the objects of dark tourism themselves appear to introduce anxiety and doubt about the project of modernity […]; third, the educative elements of sites are accompanied by elements of commodification and a commercial ethic which […] accepts that visitation as an opportunity to develop a tourism product.” 4 The DMZ Tour perfectly satisfies all three of these conditions. The tour is widely advertised online, and tourists from all over the world gather there. The propaganda presented on the DMZ Tour is flashy video easily mistaken for a Hollywood film; at souvenir shops textbooks are lined up next to badges and t-shirts. And, above all else, the destination of the DMZ Tour is that grand failure of the project of modernity (i.e. communism): it is the very negative legacy left behind by the Cold War. The Korean peninsula’s demilitarized zone is perhaps the world’s most successful destination for dark tourism. It is there that politics and entertainment, seriousness and unseriousness, and existence and fall are most tightly drawn together. I have argued in recent texts such as Chernobyl Dark Tourism Guide (Cherunobuiri daku tsurizumu gaido, 2013), Fukuichi Kanko Project (Fukushima daiichi genpatsu kankochika keikaku, 2013), and Weak Connections (Yowai tsunagari, 2014) that it is within this sort of self-contradiction or self-deconstruction that the buds of an ethics exists for living in a modern world subsumed by capitalism.

And this is not all: the reason I am writing about the DMZ Tour is not simply because it is a successful example of dark tourism; rather, it is also because the REAL DMZ PROJECT was always there as a critical response.

Because I am not an art critic it is not possible for me to decide whether or not the REAL DMZ PROJECT is productive as an art project. However, just by reading the interview with Sunjung Kim included in this issue you can see that her strategy is a clever one; it is crafty (kokatsu) in the most positive sense of the term. She is, of course, critical of the current state of tour. She does not, however, criticize the act of touristization. Rather, after having accepted the ambitions of local governments, military violence, and the pleasure of commerce, Kim is thinking about how to quietly inject completely different ideas into the minds of visitors. This is why her 2012 exhibit was incorporated into the standard visitor’s route of the Cheorwon DMZ Tour and why the 2015 exhibit was held in the downtown area of a major tourist destination. The REAL DMZ PROJECT is not a negation of DMZ dark tourism. Quite the contrary: it is the expansion of dark tourism; it is an attempt to deliver deeper and further the range of the paradox I call the deconstruction of tourism.

The REAL DMZ PROJECT belongs to the world after dark tourism. I realized that if Genron were to do a special issue on art it would be essential to have our Japanese readership come to know the existence of this world.

Five years after the Great East Japan Earthquake, many of the remains from the disaster have been removed because they evoke painful memories for the victims. The establishment of disaster-prevention parks and museums is progressing extremaly slowly. China, however, immediately preserved the town that was reduced to ruins as a result of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake, designating it a memorial park (Beichuan Earthquake Museum). When I visited in 2011 to gather information it was already attracting large numbers of tourists.5 In 2013 I also visited Chernobyl. For a long time, Ukraine prohibited visitors from entering the vast land surrounding the accident site. From 2011, however, they began accepting tourists. Visitors are lent a dosimeter, which is intended to teach them about the harmful effects of radioactivity. Based on my experiences in Sichuan and Chernobyl I proposed that we should turn the site of the 2011 nuclear accident into a site for tourists. My proposal was laughed off in Japan because people thought tourists would not dare to come before decommissioning had not yet commenced and the danger of radioactivity was still present in the land. However, as have I shown, the reality is that in Korea a conflict zone still under military tension attracts millions of tourists annually by commodifying that very tension. In a manner of speaking, the DMZ is far more dangerous than both Chernobyl and Fukushima; even still, tourism has been firmly established there. It is not an easy task classifying human behavior, whether it be politics or entertainment, seriousness or unseriousness, or existence or the fall. Human beings are full of contradictions: they can be serious and, at the same time, unserious; the relationship between art and society must be discussed with such a premise in mind. However, somewhere along the way the Japanese people lost the will or power required to confront these contradictions head-on. The mentality currently dominating in Japan is neither serious (majime) nor unserious (fumajime); rather, it is perhaps best described as sober (kimajime). A sober approach despises more than anything the mixing of the serious and unserious. The line of demarcation it draws between politics and entertainment is clear. Moreover, it tries to distinguish between serious art and unserious art. Thus, the arts and politics of Japan—whether in Okinawa, Fukushima, or any region confronted with political struggles—are only capable of being connected with each other when sober and hollow slogans are employed: one often hears of a “community-driven” “town revitalization project” “making the local healthy again”. Such discourses of social gentrification are given far greater priority than that of dark tourism. I feel here in Japan it would even be difficult to ever propose something analogous to the REAL DMZ PROJECT.

During the round-table discussion in Genron 2 I touched upon Norihiro Kato’s 1997 After Defeat (Haisengo-ron, 1997). After Defeat is a work nearly contemporaneous with Sawaragi’s Japan/Contemporary/Art, and their concerns resonate with each other. What Kato questioned in that text was how Japanese discourse can break free from the gravity of the distortions or fissures—what Sawaragi called the bad place—of postwar Japan. Kato’s questioning drew a heated response; because it also involved a historical evaluation of the Second World War it was met with great criticism.

The most famous among his critics was the philosopher Tetsuya Takahashi. Kato responded to Takahashi’s academically refined yet somewhat dogmatic and argumentative criticism by objecting that, in fact, the problem lay in writing itself, namely his tone. Kato then goes on to quote Hannah Arendt, stating that to resolve the postwar distortions a flippant—that is, a loose, perhaps even impolite—style is important.6 This response by Kato was received as a mere defensiveness and was not well-received. During the following decade it was not Kato but Takahashi who would steer the critical discourses about issues concerning the Yasukuni Shrine or the ethical evaluation of prewar Japan’s history. Nevertheless, Kato highlighted something significant here: war and genocide leave scars on the heart of a nation. Such wounds inevitably distort the field of discourse itself. This distortion destroys the trust between speakers and listeners in which one assumes that speaking the truth directly and correctly ensures the correct results will be realized. Kato believes that postwar Japan is in precisely such a distorted and twisted situation. From Kato’s perspective, then, we can imagine that Takahashi’s criticism, advocating a justice based on the faith that others will say the correct things in a correct manner (“we should indefinitely feel shame [for what we did] and not forget [our] responsibility”) , is non-response that suggests a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the condition of discourses in postwar Japan. Kato was, in other words, arguing that one can never escape from a bad place by simply being serious and responsible.

Japan has now become a harmless, tedious, and serious nation where nobody gets hurt, only accepting sober discourses. The existence of the REAL DMZ PROJECT compels us to reflect deeply on the meaning of such sobriety.


Let me introduce another issue here at the end.


Kato states in After Defeat that “the essence of the postwar era lies in the fact that the society known as Japan is, in a manner of speaking, split into two personalities.”7 The wounds of defeat divide Japan’s national identity and, as a result, its field of discourses, too, is divided. Generally speaking, this division is regarded as stemming from various conflicts of ideologies: conservative or progressive; right wing or left wing; constitutional reform (kaiken) or constitutional preservation (goken). For Kato, however, this should be understood as a split personality: what does it mean to be Japanese? Who are the Japanese? —The answers to these questions differ among people of the same nation. Their different answers reveal the fragmented personalities among that nation.

This is an incisive point by Kato. Twenty years since the publication of After Defeat we can see how his point is all the more valid when looking at the almost daily futile arguements between the neto-uyo8 (short for netto uyoku, or “internet right-wingers”) and the payoku9 (a portmanteaus of payopayochin and sayoku) on internet-based forums that never seem to lead anywhere. The neto-uyo and the payoku do not debate policy or ideology as such: Do we change the constitution or do we protect it? Do we criticize China and Korea or do we embrace them? Which stance of the two makes for a decent Japanese citizen?—The answer to these questions offered by the neto-uyo and the payoku of course differ; as such, their identities are different, too. These differences in identity construct the division between the neto-uyo and the payoku. Kato spoke of that division in terms of the spatial metaphor of the confict between an inward-facing self (domestically oriented) and an outward-facing self (internationally oriented), the former being right-wing while the latter being the left-wing. However, it would perhaps be more accurate to understand these terms from the perspective of their historical origins because at present, nearly a quarter of a century since Japan’s defeat in the War, discourse of the neto-uyo variety is not only inwardly directed but unscrupulously disseminated abroad while the sensibility of postwar democracy is itself internalized as such by many people.

Japanese citizens today have two different historical origins, two different instances of what might be called a we. On the one hand are nationalists who, locating their origins in the Meiji Restoration of 1868, sense a bond with the dead soldiers of World War II; on the other are supporters of the postwar democracy who, seeing their own origins in the 1945 secession of war, experience the pain of World War II almost as if prewar Japan had been something like a foreign nation. For the former, the present Japanese constitution was clearly forced upon us after the war by the occupying U.S. forces; for the latter, the constitution itself that serves as the point of departure for our freedom. The latter believe all prewar follies to be nothing more than crimes committed by military hawks before the creation of a peaceful we; for the former, such a disconnect with prewar history itself is an astonishing form of amnesia that lacks reverence and awe for our ancestors. The Japanese people reject their past on the one hand while proudly embracing their traditions on the other hand—and these two states can co-exist without contradiction. In other words, the Japanese of the postwar era suffer from split personalities.

The bad place (i.e., postwar Japan) produced this split personality. It goes without saying that such a ruptured historical consciousness is a troublesome state that unnecessarily complicates political discussions both at home and abroad. From the perspective of other countries—especially China and Korea —the Japanese must seem to have a dissociative identity disorder: whatever liberals reject conservatives support, and whatever conservatives support liberals reject. This is what it means to live in a bad place. For this reason Kato had to ask the question: “by what method can we heal such a personality?” 10

However, this sort of bad place is not unique to Japan. We must think about not a bad place but bad places. On my most recent trip to Seoul I visited three museums of history: the Seodaemun Prison History Hall, the War Memorial of Korea, and the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History.

The Seodaemun Prison History Museum is built on the site of a prison from the era of Japanese occupation, and the prison has been reconstructed as an exhibit. In it are wax figures recreating Korean prisoners experiencing torture at the hands of Japanese rulers. The War Memorial of Korea is, as its name suggests, a museum focusing on war; the majority of its exhibits, however, are devoted to the Korean War. In front of the War Memorial are, lined in a row, the flags of countries that assisted South Korea during the Korean War, as are memorials engraved with the names of those who died in the war. Despite being a highly political facility with military tanks and fighters on display, the memorial is popular with tourists. The National Museum of Korean Contemporary History opened its doors in 2012 near Gwanghwamun, focusing primarily on the modern and contemporary history of South Korea. Although the museum does touch upon the colonial period and the Korean War, its strength lies in its focus on the way in which contemporary Korea has became a democratic and prosperous nation. It is less political than one might expect given its name.

All three of these museums are indispensable for understanding the national identity of Korea, and I imagined they would be helpful when writing about the reception of the DMZ Tour. It was with this in mind that I chose my destinations. After visiting, however, I experienced a kind of dizziness. It suddenly occurred to me that each of those museums discuss the origin of a community collectively referred to as (South) Korea; each one, however, presented a different narrative that locating origin in a different time and place.

The Seodaemun Prison History Museum has the goal of spreading anti-Japanese education. Inevitably the history of this we extends to the 1919 establishment of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea. This is because the violence by the Japanese Empire directed at the militants of the independence movement can be spoken of in terms of a drama that directly connects to contemporary Korean society. As I mentioned earlier, the main focus of the War Memorial of Korea is the Korean War. Therefore, the decisive day here is the 1948 establishment of the Korean state, between the museum depicting the war between fellow countrymen as if it were a war of freedom from the fatherland. (Indeed, the war is referred to as the Fatherland Liberation War in North Korea.) Upon exiting the long war exhibition, visitors are led to a circular space. The words peace and freedom are written in various languages on the wall, and on a multi-monitor installation reminiscent of the work of Nam June Paik flow videos of crowds laughing and ships blasting celebratory signal guns. What is being shown is that the birth of a true we stems from the defeat of North Korea, our evil alter ego. This is a narrative of the founding of a nation completely different from the one rooted in the defeat of Japan. Finally, at the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History, we can see a third line of demarcation. That is, the 1987 birth of the Sixth Republic, namely the democratization of the nation. Written on a panel in an exhibition room focusing on the 1980s was the following (an official Japanese translation was provided): “a battle was waged over democratization stained with the blood of opposition politicians, students, intellectuals, and laborers, “and”democracy finally won in the second half of the 1980s.” The we living in contemporary Korea is, here, redefined as those who were victorious against the pre-Fifth Republic military government; it was this new we that struck them down. When I noticed this final dividing line I felt as if I were finally able to understand why a certain segment of the Korean population does not recognize the 1965 Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea. For them, perhaps, the decisions by the Korean government under the rule of dictatorship in the 1960s were not choises of the contemporary we but, rather, something forced upon us by them, an oppressor; therefore, we should reflect on, and amend, the treaty.

This suggests that Korean identity is constructed from a superimposition of at least three different notions of a we: (i) a unified Korean idenity rooted in the struggle against the Japanese empire, (ii) a South Korean identity rooted in opposition to the North, and (iii) a democratic South Korean idenity rooted in opposition to the military government. South Korea is a nation that was at one time liberated from Japanese rule in 1945 and liberated from a North Korean invasion in 1953; liberated from the tyranny of military rulers in 1987. Each we has a different image of the self and a different image of the enemy.

So the question of a bad place is not limited to Japan alone. The question of a split personality, too, is not only Japan’s problem. If Japan suffers from a double personality, then South Korea suffers from a triple personality. This probably corresponds with the fact that, for modern Japan, there was only one instance of physical trauma (defeat) while for modern Korea there were two (colonization and the Korean War). This being the case, it may very well be possible to observe such divisions in other countries, too. When conceiving of international relations, Kant once observed that it is favorable to regard a nation state with various ethnic groups as a single person.11 However, such an assumption might only have currency in Europe. The world is only comprised of countries that have experienced trauma; in actuality, Japan’s neighboring countries all have multiple personalities (that is, they are multi-personality nations, which should not be confused with multi-ethnic nations). This may be the reason diplomacy based on the premise of the nation as an individual has not been very successful with nations comprised of multiple personalities. In a sense, then, Asia in its entirety might be a bad place.

Moving forward we should think again about Kato’s question in After Defeat: how might we go about recovering a single, unified personality without confining it within the boundaries of Japanese discourse? His claim that it is essential to mourn the dead for the sake of a unified subject should also be considered from another perspective.

The dead sleep in the crevices of personalities. A failure to mourn ruptures a nation’s personality. In the DMZ, a space neither North Koreans nor South Koreans can even step foot into, still sleeping are a vast number of actual victims of the Korean War. The REAL DMZ PROJECT is an extended program of mourning in which one confronts the failure of mourning.

If we are to revive these various unified personalities, then we may need more and more instances of mourning—or a deconstruction of mourning—here in this place called Asia a geopolitical sphere full of trauma and crowded with countries with multiple personalities. This topic, however, will have to be taken up in a later issue of Genron.


1 The organizers of the REAL DMZ PROJECT informed us that the project has almost never been referenced by the Japanese media and that Genron would be the first publication in Japan they have cooperated with.
2 These numbers come from the Themed Entertainment Associationís report for the year 2014. See
3 See Martin Heideggerís Being and Time, Part VI: ìCare as the Being of Da-sein.î
4 John Lennon and Malcom Foley, Dark Tourism, Hampshire: Cengage Leaning EMEA, 2001, p.3.
5 For further information please reference the following articles publicly available on our site. Yoshihide Asaco: ìAnother Reconstruction Plan: A Report on the Sichuan Earthquake.î
Part 1
Part 2 http: //
6 Norihiro Kato, Haisengo-ron, Kodansha, 1997, p.250.
7 ibid, pp.46-47.
8 [Translatorís note: Neto-uyo collectively refers to internet users that ìexhibit xenophobia towards immigrants, depict Korea and China negatively, and uphold revisionist history, justifying and glorifying Japanís wartime actions. They also support political leadersí official visits to Yasukuni Shrine, revision of Article 9 of the constitution, and patriotic education.î See Rumi Sakamotoís ìëKoreans, Go Home!í Internet Nationalism in Contemporary Japan as a Digitally Mediated Subcultureî at] 9 [Payoku is a derogatory term referring to left-wing (sayoku) internet users who resort to violence, both physical and verbal, despite criticizing violence by the neto-uyo described above. A comparable example from the current United States political climate might be the increasingly violent tactics of anti-Donald Trump protestors ( The term has its origins in the Payopayochin Incident of 2015, with Naomi Kubota at its center.] 10 Haisengo-ron, p.52.
11 See Immanuel Kantís Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch. Second Section, Second Definitive Article.