Category Archives: Essays

Yokohama court upholds civil right to hold political flash mobs in Japan

Welcome to Kanagawa, Music and food for twenty yen Music and food Welcome! Welcome to Kanagawa! Music and food and company! Music and food Welcome! Stephen Sondheim, Pacific Overtures Rejoice, because it’s now legal to mob in Kanagawa. In a … Continue reading

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Street protests and publications form growing anti-Olympic movement in Tokyo

The freedom to make and remake our cities and ourselves is … one of the most precious yet most neglected of our human rights. David Harvey On the afternoon of January 22nd, a small protest of some 80 people set … Continue reading

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Kumano Dormitory students occupy Kyoto University clock tower hall roof

Life spent monitoring Japanese radicalism and counterculture would be dull if there weren’t high jinks at Kyōdai. And here they are again: students at Kyoto University yesterday occupied the Kyoto University Clock Tower Centennial Hall. On November 25th, students from … Continue reading

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Abe’s government must not be tolerated: On political slogans in recent Japanese protest movements

“Revolution is not a dinner party,” as Mao said, nor is it just a political slogan. But having one certainly helps. While they lack the finesse or depth of a treatise or manifesto, few would deny that political and social … Continue reading

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What is it like to be a far-left student activist in Japan?

Back in the bad old days of 2014, I wrote a piece on the Hōsei University student movement for The Japan Times. I had to deal with skepticism on the part of the editors, due to some extent to negative … Continue reading

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