The changing purposes of physical sites of World War II memory : a study of Japan and Singapore
Chiam, Joel Sheng Hao
Date of Issue2017-03-25
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Physical sites of war memory often evoke a sense of empathy, identity and connectedness from visitors, even though a majority of them did not have first-hand experiences in the war themselves. These sites represent the interpretations of historical events in a public sphere, which could be utilised by various sponsors for differing purposes. The major theme for physical sites of war memory would be one of commemoration and remembrance for the victims who lost their lives during this tragic period. However, this dissertation examines other possible purposes of such sites, due to the agendas of sponsors, which altered to accommodate changing priorities during different time periods. Thus, a chronological comparison approach will be undertaken, using the case studies of Japan and Singapore’s physical representations of World War II, to analyse the agendas of these actors, both governmental and non-governmental, who were involved in the construction and sponsorships of these sites. The dissertation will identify that besides commemoration, the agendas of these sponsors influenced the purposes of such physical sites, which included nation building, justifying political legitimacy, and tourism heritage, which was adapted to changing priorities during differing timeframes.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University