Tag Archives: Public space

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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Ittoku 2018 protest music festival makes noise on the streets around the National Diet

Ascending from the barren bowels of Kokkai-gijidomae Station in the early afternoon of Sunday 7 October to an Indian summer bout of unexpected sunshine, the empty streets of Japan’s parliament district were disturbed by throbbing. As I skirted around the … Continue reading

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Residents and activists protest proposed Kōenji gentrification plan

On 23 September, locals and activists gathered in Kōenji, west Tokyo, to protest plans to redevelop the area that opponents denounce as commercially motivated gentrification. Mustering supporters with the English slogans of “gentrification is not progress” and “Kōenji against gentrification”, … 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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Activists alarmed by Shinjuku ward move to restrict parks for protests

Shinjuku ward in Tokyo revealed a plan on 27 June to reduce the number of parks that demonstrations can use from the current four to just one. The move was initiated as a move to combat hate speech rallies, which … Continue reading

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