Tag Archives: Kakukyodo

The curious disappearance of Kōichi Kishi, leading activist in the Sanrizuka protests

Speak no ill of the dead, as the philosophers say. Haruhiko Daishima’s documentary The Fall of Icarus: Narita Stories about the Sanrizuka protest movement against Narita Airport was released in September. I had rather mixed feelings about the predecessor, The … Continue reading

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Zengakuren student activists continue fight against anti-conspiracy law ahead of expected crackdown

The buzz in 2015 about SEALDs missed an important point about the student movement in Japan: you can praise its “revival” all you want — and there is a revival, as witnessed in post-SEALDs groups like T-nsSOWL, Aequitas, Public for … Continue reading

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A Short History of Trotskyism in Japan

“Trotskyist” is a word rarely heard in Japanese leftist circles these days and not so long ago it was commonly used as an insult. This was especially the case with the Japanese Communist Party (JCP), which employed the term to … Continue reading

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Ghosts of the Radical Past in the Toshima and Shinjuku Landscape

In The Move, playwright and novelist Minoru Betsuyaku, the Japanese Samuel Beckett, displayed his typical eye for the absurdity underlying the state of the nation. The play, which premiered in 1973, depicts an unnamed family constantly in motion, inexplicably forever … Continue reading

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A Short History of Kakukyōdō (Japan Revolutionary Communist League) and its Schisms

Any attempt to learn about the New Left or student movement in Japan immediately runs into trouble unless you can get your head around the complex skein of factions and their various genealogical branches. One major “family” in the pantheon … Continue reading

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