The Memory That Dare Not Speak Its Name
Memory, Monsters and Oblivion in Japanese Popular Culture
In this paper, I aim at identifying traces of the trauma in Japanese popular and visual culture of the postwar period. Following the Freudian definition, the recollection of the traumatic event is repressed and thus constitutes an absent presence that resurfaces in compulsive repetitions either in the form of re-enactments or in the form of flashbacks. These resist conscious remembering and take on an agency of their own, that is, they are experienced as independent entities that come back to haunt the traumatized person. I thus maintain that when researching the traces of trauma in postwar Japan it is to monsters and ghosts that we need to turn.
Keywords: Godzilla, Japan, postwar, memory, monsters, Freud