Kyoto Animation Studios Plans Dual Memorials to Commemorate Victims Of The Arson Attack

The committee anticipates that the public memorial will be unveiled on July 18, 2024.

Violet Evergarden
Violet Evergarden (Kana Akatsuki and Akiko Takase)

Four years have passed since the devastating arson attack on Kyoto Animation Studios. An incident that claimed the lives of thirty-six employees and left thirty-two others injured.

The studio has announced its intention to construct two memorials in honor of the deceased.

The tragedy that unfolded in 2019 elicited an outpouring of condolences and grief from around the world.

While consensus prevails regarding the undeniable magnitude of the event, disagreements have emerged regarding the most fitting way to pay tribute to the victims.

Kyoto Animation President Hideaki Hatta expressed his desire to build a memorial at the site of the incident, an idea that garnered support from the victims’ families.

However, local residents opposed the proposal due to concerns about potential disruptions to their tranquil neighborhood.

Kyoto Animation’s initial building, where the attack occurred, was situated in the residential Fushimi district of Kyoto City.

This prompted apprehension among area residents, who feared that the construction of a monument could lead to an influx of visitors, disturbing their established way of life.

After years of deliberation, a statement issued by a lawyer representing a group consisting of Kyoto entertainers and victims’ relatives has revealed plans for two memorials.

Of the two, only one will be accessible to the general public.

While the precise location remains undecided, the accessible memorial is likely to be erected in Uji.

It is Kyoto’s neighboring city and the site of Kyoto Animation’s headquarters.

The organizing committee envisions the publicly accessible memorial being erected in a park or other communal space.

Its purpose is to preserve the memory of the incident and honor the lives of the deceased.

This will also be to recognize the prayers and support extended by people worldwide.

The design and materials for the memorial are yet to be determined, but the committee aims to avoid using dark or somber colors.

As they might detract from the aesthetic harmony of the chosen location.

donations received by Kyoto Animation following the tragic incident will be used for construction and installation.

This is in accordance with the studio’s commitment to not employ those funds for commercial purposes.

In addition to the public memorial, Kyoto Animation intends to create a separate memorial within the premises where the attack took place.

This memorial will be within the grounds of the company’s facilities, so won’t be accessible to the general public.

The presence of an animation studio in such close proximity to residential areas highlights Japan’s lenient zoning laws.

Simultaneously, Japanese culture emphasizes the importance of considering others’ comfort. This is a principle particularly significant in Kyoto.

By establishing two memorials, Kyoto Animation aims to honor the victims both at the location where they spent their last days and at a site accessible to the world.

The committee anticipates that the public memorial will be unveiled on July 18, 2024.

Source: KBS-Kyoto, Somokudasai