Overcoming the Gap between American Anthropology and East Asian Anthropologies

As the President of the Society for East Asian Anthropology for 2015–2017, I am excited by the fact that the section is doing so well and is so vibrant.  For many years in the earlier history of anthropology, East Asia fit more or less uneasily within conventional anthropological concerns, but an era of globalization, and […]

The Absent Crowd

What imagery has come to define political life in Japan after the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe? In the summer of 2012, a few hundred protesters gathering weekly in front of the prime minister’s office (Kantei-mae) grew into hundreds of thousands. Every Friday evening, the crowd manifested itself, pouring silently out of subway exits and municipal buses, politely […]

Crafting Interactive Journalism

To understand the current social movements and protest culture in Japan, it is necessary to understand the role played by the mass and alternative media. In the wake of the 3.11 earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disasters, a sense that the mass media had failed to accurately report on the nuclear contamination at Fukushima galvanized a group of individuals […]

Student Protests Return to Tokyo

Contributing Editors’ Note: Due to recent media attention on the activists of Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy (SEALDS), we have moved up Robin O’Day’s report in this article series—“Social Movements in Japan”— to reflect its timeliness. Note on photographs: The author took all photographs of the August 23, 2015 SEALDS demonstration.  Do not reproduce […]

Activist Mothers and Radical Women

As many Japanese look back on the social movements from the 1960s and 70s, such as the Anpo movements, environmental movements, as well as feminist movements, their activists are most often represented as aggressive, militant, dangerous, and even crazy. Today, we see what some have called a sort of “political allergy.” As a result, many […]