Silent Histories by Kazuma Obara

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Silent Histories by Kazuma Obara

80.00

Silent Histories
by Kazuma Obara


Book
Publshed by Ofset Yapimevi, 2015
162 pages
Hardcover, signed

From and edition of 1900
Silent Histories was originally published in 2014 in a limited edition of 45 handmade copies
 

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The indiscriminate bombing by U.S. forces during the Pacific War massacred 330,000 and left 430,000 Japanese citizens injured. More than 9.7 million citizens were left homeless as 2.23 million houses were destroyed, and over 200 cities were damaged.

In this enormous catastrophe, a girl lost her left foot at the age of six, and a fire bomb left a baby's foot in flames two hours after her birth. Another boy was burned over his entire body—he survived but lost all six of his family members in a flash and became an extremely disfigured orphan.

Japan brought about its economic recovery in the wake of wartime devastation. Such remarkable growth was even called "Japanese economic miracle." In contrast to the historically lustrous economic growth, children with wounds of war were forced to live a harsh life, unable to cure their wounds.

They have lived in the shadows, trying to hide their scars and avoid causing someone trouble by being invisible, trying hard to cover their pain. This intimate, hand-made book gives voice to their histories which were kept silent for 69 years.

The book includes snapshots, class photos, views of Japanese cities in 1945 and today, as well as Obara's recent portraits of each of the six survivors who tell their personal stories. These stories are interspersed with pull-out replicas of each person's government disability cards (which are essentially worthless, since the victims have never received any compensation from the government, even after seven decades) and replicas of wartime propaganda magazines. It's an immersive and highly moving collection—visual storytelling and book design at its best.