Category Archives: Essays

Post-Trauma Sexploitation: Salvation and Women in Wakamatsu Kōji’s Eros Eterna

This essay will discuss Eros Eterna (1977), one of the lesser-known films of the Japanese director Wakamatsu Kōji, arguing that it is a neglected yet layered work that demands reassessment within not only Wakamatsu’s career and oeuvre but also the … Continue reading

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The Shinjuku West Gate Underground Plaza Protest Movement, 1969 and Today: Japan’s Invisible Civil Society and Phatic Silence in Urban Space

Shinjuku Station in Tokyo is commonly described as the busiest train station in the world, used by millions of passengers daily.(1) A key component of the station is the West Gate (or West Exit) area, which comprises a long street … Continue reading

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Lovable communism: Japanese Communist Party creates anime idol character election songs and music videos

The Japanese Communist Party has launched its campaign for the upcoming House of Councillors election this month with the customary tactics of speeches in public places and canvassing, but has also created surely the most original videos by any of … Continue reading

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“The Name of the New Era is Taiyo Komon Spapan”: Thirty Years of Music, Politics, and White Underpants

An Interview with Masanosuke Hanasaki of Taiyo Komon Spapan Interview and Text by Anastasia Traynin Photos Copyright Hiromichi Ugaya (except top image) This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Heisei era and also its unprecedented end, with Emperor Akihito … Continue reading

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Politics and dōjinshi: Zengakuren booth at Comiket sells revolution to otaku

On 31 December, 2018, while much of Japanese society was getting ready to crowd around the TV to watch Kōhaku Uta Gassen that evening on NHK or helping out in the kitchen, the scene was quite different in Odaiba, where … Continue reading

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