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Mother of Kyoto Animation artst who died in arson wants memorial; residents opposed

Last Saturday marked exactly six months sincethe arson attack onKyoto Animationthat resulted in 36 deaths. The company has since resumed operationsanddemolition work has already begunfor the fire-ravaged building in Kyotos Fushimi Ward, but even that lengthy process is a short and simple one compared to processing the emotional grief of victims families, such asthe mother of Naomi Ishida. Naomi, a color designer, was among those who died in the July 18 attack, and in speaking to reporters from NHK her mothervoiced her wishes for how the studios site should be used once the demolition work is complete.
I want them to build a monument. Not in some other place, but in the same place where the studio was. If there is no monument, decades from now people will forget that it was a place where so many people worked so hard creating animation, and loving what they made.
The elder Ishidas desire echoesthe idea floated by Kyoto Animation CEO Hideaki Hatta shortly after the incident, and its a sentiment that many fans likely share.On Jan 18, the six-month anniversary of the attack, a number of fans gathered at the studio site, including a 40-something father and his junior high school-aged son, who had traveled from Kanagawa Prefecture, several hours away from Kyoto even by bullet train.For the past year, its felt like theres a hole in my heart,said the father, whose sons interest in anime was sparked by the works of Kyoto Animation.We came to offer our prayers before the building is cleared awayAll we can hope for is that he souls of those who passed away can rest in peace.
Also visiting the site were a woman in her 20s from Osaka, who came with her eight-year-old daughter, and told reportersI pray that my girl will be able to watch new anime from Kyoto Animation, and that a bright future is waiting for the company.And in a sign of the studios international acclaim, a Chinese college student currently studying in Tokyo also was at the site, in hopes of processing hersadness that [she] cannot put into wordsand pay her respects to the victims.
However, theres alsoa group thats opposed to the idea of turning the site into a memorial: the people who actually live in the neighborhood. As discussedlate at the end of last year, the Inaba Higashi neighborhood association, made up of residents of the part of the Kyoto City where Kyoto Animations studio was located, have said they dont want a park, monument, or any other sort of beacon for mourners installed.Kinya Adachi, president of the association, says that the sudden added presence of so many out-of-area visitors is disrupting residents way of life.
When we open our front doors, there are people standing there. When we need to pull our cars out of our driveways, we have to ask people to move out of the way, Adachi reports. Recently, kids cant even play outsideIf they erect a monument here, therell be a limitless number of people coming to the area, Adachi says, a prediction at least partially supported by the various, far-off parts of Japan visitors came from on Jan 18.I dont want the site to be turned into a place that threatens residents lifestyles.
Adachis concerns, which are shared by many local families, cant be dismissed out of hand. While Kyoto Animation is a highly respected company in an increasingly international industry, its Fushimi studio was located in a quiet, mostly residential neighborhood. Having such a tragic event occur on in their community has undoubtedly been traumatic and stressful for those who live nearby (there are private homes literally across the street from the studio site). How to weigh the desire of fans and victims families to tangibly preserve the memories of those who died versus residents need to be able to live their lives without being constantly reminded of the arson attack is a question without an easy answer, but one that definitely needs to be given its proper consideration.
Source:NHK News WebviaJin
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