Kyoto Animation to build memorial at site of 2019 arson attack, report says

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Next month will mark three years since the arson attack on Kyoto Animation, which resulted in the deaths of 36 victims. Though the company itself has resumed regular operations, three years isn’t nearly enough time for the mental healing process necessary to recover from one of the largest mass murders in modern Japanese history, and an ongoing point of debate is what should be done with the ground on which Kyoto Animation Studio #1 once stood.

Less than a week after the attack, Kyoto Animation president Hideaki Hatta said, “If it is possible, I would like to turn the site into a park, and erect a monument,” and six months later that sentiment was echoed by the mother of one of the artists who was killed, saying “I want them to build a monument. Not in some other place, but in the same place where the studio was.” Now, after extensive discussions, the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper is reporting that a decision has been reached to do just that, with the establishment of a committee to create a memorial at the site.

Last December, Kyoto Animation held a meeting with victims’ families to discuss the possibility of a monument, and talks have continued in the months since. According to Mainichi’s unnamed source, the majority of the family opinions were in favor of building an on-site memorial, and a committee has now been formed consisting of four family members, five Kyoto Animation executives, and eight other Kyoto animation employees. The committee will be holding regular meetings to discuss the design of the memorial as well as the timing for when it should be installed.

Kyoto Animation itself is yet to make any official announcement regarding the project, but among the reasons given by families wanting a memorial, according to the source, were “I want to avoid the incident fading from people’s memories” and “I want a place where we can offer prayers.”

However, residents of the surrounding neighborhood have been less agreeable to the idea of an on-site memorial. Despite turning out anime of the highest quality, Kyoto Animation Studio #1 was located not in the heart of downtown Kyoto, but in a quiet residential neighborhood in the city’s Fushimi Ward, with single-family homes located directly across the street from where the studio was.

Given the high profile of the incident and the enduring love for Kyoto Animation from the company’s worldwide fan base, many in the neighborhood have expressed concerns about the number of people likely to be drawn to what is likely to become a pilgrimage site so close to their living spaces. No matter how respectful the intentions of visitors may be, the neighborhood wasn’t designed with such crowds in mind, and the local residents’ association has previously sent a written request to Kyoto Animation asking that the company not build an on-site memorial.

Source: Mainichi Shimbun via Yahoo! Japan News via Otakomu

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Personal information of everyone in Amagasaki City lost by person who passed out drunk on street

-- Kyoto Animation president wants to turn site of arson attack into memorial park for victims

-- Residents don’t want Kyoto Animation to build monument, memorial park to victims at arson site

© SoraNews24

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many in the neighborhood have expressed concerns about the number of people likely to be drawn to what is likely to become a pilgrimage site so close to their living spaces.

The memorial seems to be solely dedicated to the tragedy, not to the animation works or Kyoto Animation itself, so the concerns may be exaggerated. Surely the place will attract crowds on the anniversary of the attack, but without a direct appeal to the works of the studio I don't see it happening in other days.

Maybe if some space for the fans is also prepared elsewhere, where crowds were not so problematic, these concerns could be more easily dealt with.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I can’t understand, if people go to Fushimi, they will spend money and support local businesses. Lots of new restaurants and cafes there, but overpriced, but still, it will help local people.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

“I want to avoid the incident fading from people’s memories”

This would be an ego of victims' families, seen by some neighbors who instead want to forget the tragedy. Assume a murder happened in a house or an apartment in your neighborhood, there would be considerable damage to the building and the area, much more if mass murders. This monument will keep it the talk of the town for many generations.

I agree with the neighborhood's opinion.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

What an opinion it is. You wanna ban graveyards next bcus get this… bad memories. All the hub bub over a little mass murdering terrorism.. too bad we can't just forget it ever happened.

This monument will keep it the talk of the town for many generations.I agree with the neighborhood's opinion.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It should be a sculpture of one of their most popular characters from their animations work,

with a plaque of all victims names, and the date it happened...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Very nice..

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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