Television and violence in the economy of memory

Mamoru Ito*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The present paper aims to consider the cultural function of television as a technology for the creation of a public memory. The television system records past images, preserves them, and broadcasts various historical programs. A viewer owns the public memory jointly, through watching/consuming programs. However, the process of production and consumption of programs is linked with the exclusion of other historical memories from the public space. After all, the creation of public memories in depth is related to social power. Through the analysis in concrete terms of a series of programs of Project X and the second episode of the Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK; Japan Broadcasting Corporation) series, Special Edition: Judging War, the relationship between the organization of public memories and social power is explored. Project X depicts the challenges of engineers of middle standing who initiated new industrial and technological developments in the 1960s and 1970s. Special Edition: Judging War is based on coverage of the Women’s International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan’s Military Sexual Slavery. This program was subjected to revision on the eve of its broadcast. What forms of expression were eliminated? These two programs should help us define more clearly what the Japanese media selects for incorporation into the public memory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-34
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Japanese Sociology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Jan 1


  • Public memory
  • Television as memory system
  • The representation of post–war history in Japan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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