Category Archives: Essays

Anti-government monk group JKS47 protests nuclear power with monthly prayer rituals in Kasumigaseki

It should be obvious to all that Premium Friday, that ill-named and ill-begotten government gimmick to encourage workers to leave their jobs early on the final Friday of the month, has utterly failed when even the (no doubt overworked and … Continue reading

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Shinjuku Station West Gate: Reclaiming Tokyo’s banned plaza as a political space

Over the years I have continued to gravitate back towards the Shinjuku Station West Gate (Nishiguchi) protests, which I believe to be one of the most important yet little-known social movements in Tokyo today. Every Saturday from 5pm to 7pm, … Continue reading

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New academic year begins with student activists and Hōsei University staff clashing at campus entrance

In Japan, April is far from the cruellest month and perhaps rather the most optimistic, not least because it heralds the cherry blossom and the start of the new fiscal and academic year. I recently had the somewhat unnerving experience … Continue reading

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Activists call on artists to join protests against 2020 Olympics in Tokyo

The idea of the Olympics as a sporting event complemented by culture goes back to Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Games. The Olympic Charter also states that the Olympic Movement is composed of sport, culture and education. … Continue reading

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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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