Hiroshima:
History, Literature, and Popular Culture


HIST 3005
TTh 12:30-1:45
Brewster D-103
John A. Tucker, Ph.D.
Brewster A-304 
Office Hours TTh 9:00-10:00 
or gladly by appointment 
Email: Tuckerjo@mail.ecu.edu
Office: 328-1028
Home: 756-4126

A. Course Description:  This course examines the most profoundly significant act of warfare in the twentieth century, and arguably the history of the world: the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It does so within the context of several narratives: the history of WWII, Japanese literature addressing the bombings (genbaku bungaku), and expressions of popular culture, American and Japanese, related to the bombings. In examining "the history of WWII," an attempt will be made to understand American and Japanese interpretations, in monographs, research institute studies, and in public history. The course opens with a brief survey of the history of Hiroshima within the context of Japanese history prior to WWII. It next tries to understand the development of atomic weapons and the decision to use them within the context of the WWII. Postwar efforts to come to terms with the atomic bombing in Japanese literature, cinema, and popular culture are given substantial attention. Understandings of Hiroshima in sites of public history, including the Hiroshima Peace Park and American institutions such as the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, will also be examined. Documentaries related to Hiroshima will also be viewed and discussed at length.

B. Grading: Grading will be based on regular quizzes (40%), two exams (40% each), and a ten-page paper examining, with the use of primary sources, a topic related to Hiroshima, the bombing and ways in which it has been remembered (20%). The topic should be selected by the student, with the approval of the instructor. If students are unable to decide on a topic, the instructor will assign one for them. 

The first exam will be given on Thursday, March 8; the last on Thursday, April 19. Exams will include objective (true/false, multiple choice) and essay questions. At least 50% of the exam will consist of essay questions. 

Perfect attendance is expected. Repeated unexcused absences may result in a reduction of the final grade. While the instructor will lecture regularly, class participation in the form of insightful questions and comments, are welcomed. Readings will be discussed weekly. 

C. Academic Integrity: Adapted from the ECU Faculty Manual, Part IV: Academic integrity is expected of every East Carolina University student. Academic honor is the responsibility of the studentsand faculty of East Carolina University. Academic Integrity violations consist of the following: (a) cheating - unauthorized aid or assistance or the giving or receiving of unfair advantage on any form of academic work; (b) plagiarism - copying the language, structure, ideas, and/or thoughts of another and adopting same as one's original work; (c) falsification - statement of any untruth, either spoken or written, regarding any circumstances relative to academic work; (d) attempting any act which if completed would constitute an academic integrity violation as defined herein. This information is found at: www.ecu.edu/cs-acad/fsonline/customcf/facultymanual/part4/42.htm

D. Disability Statement: East Carolina University seeks to comply fully with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Students requesting accommodations based on a covered disability must go to the Department for Disability Support Services, located in Slay 138, to verify the disability before any accommodations can occur.  The telephone number is 252-737-1016. 

E. Required Readings:

Hersey, John. Hiroshima. New York: Vintage Reprint, 1989.

Hogan, Michael J. Hiroshima in History and Memory. New York: Cambridge

University Press, 1996.
Lifton, Robert Jay and Greg Mitchell. Hiroshima in America: Fifty Years of Denial.
New York: G. P. Putnam, 1995.
Nakazawa, Keiji. Barefoot Gen Volume One: A Cartoon Story from Hiroshima. 
San Francisco: Last Gasp, 2004.
Oe, Kenzaburo. The Crazy Iris. New York: Grove Press, 1985.

Walker, J. Samuel. Prompt and Utter Destruction. Chapel Hill: University of North

Carolina Press, 2005. 


Weekly Lectures and Assigned Readings

January 9/11: Hiroshima in America, "Introduction" & "Part I," pp. xi-114
Professor Tucker will be in Washington, D.C. reviewing applications for the Fulbright-Hays Fellowship Program, for the U. S. Department of Education. Students should use this week to begin intensive reading for the course.
January 15: Martin Luther King Holiday

January 16/18: Hersey, Hiroshima

Hiroshima in America, "Part II," pp. 117-203

Video: Kamikaze: Death from the Sky

January 23/25: Hiroshima in America, "Part III," pp. 207-297
Video: The Day After Trinity: Robert Oppenheimer and the Atomic Bomb
January 30/February 1: Hiroshima in America, "Part IV," pp. 301-381
Video: The History Channel. The Manhattan Project. 2002
February 6/8: Hiroshima in History and Memory, pp. 1-115
Video: Excerpts from The Atomic Bomb Collection
February 13/15: Hiroshima in History and Memory, remainder
Video: The Enola Gay
February 20/22: Prompt and Utter Destruction, pp. 1-52
Video: ABC Documentary: Hiroshima: Why the Bomb Was Dropped
February 27/March 1: Prompt and Utter Destruction, remainder
Video: An Oral History --- Air and Space Museum Protestors
March 6/8: Review and First Exam

March 11-18: Spring Break

March 20/22: Japanese Responses to Hiroshima: The Peace Park

Video: Grave Yard of the Fireflies
March 27/29: Nakazawa, Barefoot Gen
Video: Barefoot Gen
April 3/5: The Crazy Iris, pp. 9-112
Video: Black Rain
April 6-7: Easter Holiday

April 10/12: The Crazy Iris, remainder

Video: Hiroshima no Pika and Hellfire: A Journey from Hiroshima
April 17/19: Review and Last Exam

April 23: Last Day of Classes

April 26: Research Papers Due