The Yushukan, a museum that chronicles the challenges Japan faced during World War II, resides on the grounds of Yasukuni Shrine. Because of the intimate relationship once shared between the shrine and the Japanese government, foreigners view the location as a dangerous site prone to encouraging nationalism and apologetic rhetoric towards the actions of Japanese soldiers during the war. As some believe museums to be the sites of cultural definition, the role of the museum within this popular shrine remains unclear, despite its evident negative effects on other populations. To determine the significances of the museum, I examine the presentations and exhibitions within the Yushukan by applying exhibition analyses with discussions of Japanese culture. Through relating theoretical frameworks based on museum analyses and Japanese culture, I have conducted this study in hopes of understanding the reasons behind the controversial nature of the Yushukan and its uninterrupted popularity amongst Japanese government officials. I found that the museum provides a platform for identifying what it means to be Japanese through a narrative of victimization, which in turn discredits the suffering of other nations.


McConnell, David


East Asian Studies

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2016 Melissa E. Garcia de la Noceda