Tag Archives: Beheiren

A short history of the Japanese hippie movement

We might begin with a series of snapshots. Young people sniffing paint thinner in plastic bags around Shinjuku Station. Long-haired, bearded musicians like the Taj Mahal Travellers, embarking on a tour of Asia. Artists hanging out at trendy, edgy venues … Continue reading

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Pan-Asianism and the post-war Japanese radical Left: Some movements and tendencies

What kinds of Asianist tendencies, or attitudes towards Asia, are visible in the post-war Japanese radical left? Is Pan-Asianism a useful framework for thinking about aspects of post-war left-wing activism in Japan? Drawing on a range of case studies, including … 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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Preparations for Osaka 2025 World Expo spark local opposition and protests

Patricia G. Steinhoff frequently talks about an “invisible civil society” in Japan: a wide and vibrant swath of social movements, particularly remnants from the radical cycle of protests in the 1960s and 1970s, that are essentially unknown and given little … 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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