Tourist Sites as Media

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One of the characteristics of my approach to tourist sites in my contents tourism research is that tourist sites are treated as media. This concept was originally developed by Yamamura Takayoshi, but appears in many of our co-authored publications. Put simply, a tourist site is not only a place that is visited by tourists. It is a place where messages can be sent from senders (creators of tourist sites) to receivers (the tourists) with the site acting as the medium.

The photograph above indicates this process clearly. It is a memorial to the Indian judge at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, Radhabinod Pal, at Ryozen Gokoku Shrine in Kyoto. The messages transmitted via this memorial are … Pal is worthy of remembrance (a large stone monument was erected in his honour); he is learned and distinguished (an image created via a carefully selected photograph); and he has an important message about Japanese war responsibility (his most famous words from his dissenting judgement at the trial are engraved on the memorial). The site is clearly media.

In addition to all the forms of news and other media discussed in this section Cultural Memories, therefore, we must also examine carefully the messages of sites and role of tourism in the composure of war Japanese memories. This is the subject of our book War as Entertainment and Contents Tourism in Japan and the next section of this website.

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