Author Archives: William Andrews

Police arrest two Zengakuren activists for entering university campus in Tokyo to distribute political materials

Tokyo Metropolitan Police officers arrested two activists from the left-wing student group Zengakuren on 4 November on suspicion of entering a university campus to distribute political publications without permission. The activists were nabbed in central Tokyo as they made their … Continue reading

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Ittoku 2018 protest music festival makes noise on the streets around the National Diet

Ascending from the barren bowels of Kokkai-gijidomae Station in the early afternoon of Sunday 7 October to an Indian summer bout of unexpected sunshine, the empty streets of Japan’s parliament district were disturbed by throbbing. As I skirted around the … Continue reading

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Changing of the guard for Zengakuren as University of Tokyo student activist becomes chair

It was the end of an era and the beginning of a new one, as Ikuma Saitō handed over the reigns of the left-wing student activist group Zengakuren to Kyōhei Takahara in early September at the 79th Zengakuren National Congress. … Continue reading

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Residents and activists protest proposed Kōenji gentrification plan

On 23 September, locals and activists gathered in Kōenji, west Tokyo, to protest plans to redevelop the area that opponents denounce as commercially motivated gentrification. Mustering supporters with the English slogans of “gentrification is not progress” and “Kōenji against gentrification”, … Continue reading

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Sweden, a new novel by Matthew Turner about the fascinating history of American Vietnam War deserters in Japan

I uncovered many things during my brief and, so far, sole trip to Hawaii, though probably none that the regular visitor would expect. I was there to browse materials in the Kōji Takazawa Collection of Japanese Social Movement Materials at … Continue reading

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