After nearly five years of work, out it slipped: Dissenting Japan: A History of Japanese Radicalism and Counterculture, from 1945 to Fukushima went quietly on to release at the start of this month. Somewhat in contrast to the numerous episodes of Sturm und Drang it covers, the publication has so far been rather softly-softly. A talk is planned for mid-September at the FCCJ and some reviews should come in soon. Watch this space, as they say.
Originally scheduled for late 2015, the delay actually allowed for time to sneak in a few references to what happened that summer with SEALDs and co. These things being as they are, though, the book may very well need a second edition soon to bring it up to date! As it stands, the “narrative” essentially stops at around the 2013/14 mark (the book was written between 2011 and 2014 for the most part, with significant revisions in 2015).
By some fortuitous timing of the gods, there are several related books either recently published or forthcoming for later in the year. The array of publications includes The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Protest Music After Fukushima by Noriko Manabe; Disasters and Social Crisis in Contemporary Japan: Political, Religious, and Sociocultural Responses, edited by Mark R. Mullins and Kōichi Nakano; Nationalism in Asia: A History Since 1945 edited by Jeff Kingston, and a book Kingston has written himself, Asian Nationalisms Reconsidered; Power in Contemporary Japan, edited by Gill Steel; The Sublime Perversion of Capital: Marxist Theory and the Politics of History in Modern Japan by Gavin Walker, about the influential work of Marxist economist Kōzō Uno; and two books about avant-garde art after 1945, Cultural Responses to Occupation in Japan: The Performing Body During and After the Cold War by Adam Broinowski and Radicalism in the Wilderness: International Contemporaneity and 1960s Art in Japan by Reiko Tomii.
As the current Abe administration continues to push for constitutional reforms and the situation in Okinawa escalates over the US military bases, the discourse about protest and dissent in Japan can only grow more vital.