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Since the Fukushima nuclear accident in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake of 11 March 2011, Japan has seen a significant revival in its social activism. Large-scale social movements sprang up in response to such issues as denuclearization, proposed new US military bases in Okinawa, and the 2015 National Security Legislation, propelled by dissatisfaction with the national government's stance on these fronts. In the context of the broader 'amorphization' of Japanese society, this book characterizes these movements as 'amorphous' based on the phenomenon in which movements are formed by diverse and disparate people and display disparate, disorganized, and undefined elements in stark contrast to Japanese social movements of the past which were of a highly structured organizational type. The authors have direct, first-hand experience of these social movements and paint vivid pictures of their diverse activities. Chapters focus on issues such as opposition to hate speech and US military bases in Okinawa, and examine in detail movements such as SEALDs, Hangenren and Amateur Revolt, perhaps the most amorphous social movement in Japan of this period.
About Editors and Authors
Professor of Political Science in the Graduate School of Humanities, Tokyo Metropolitan University. He specializes in Japanese politics and welfare state. His publications include Gendai seiji to josei seisaku (Contemporary Japanese politics and gender policies), Keisō Shobō, 2005 and Japanese Politics Today: From Karaoke to Kabuki Democracy, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011 (co-author).
Professor Emeritus at Hitotsubashi University. Specializing in Japanese political history, he published dozens of books, the latest of which is Pandemikku no seijigaku (Politics of pandemics), Kadensha, 2020.
Researcher in the International Peace Research Institute at Meiji Gakuin University. He specializes in the studies of Japanese political history. His publications include Popyurizumu to ‘min-i’ no seijigaku: 3.11 igo no minshu-shugi (Populism and the politics of ‘popular will’: Democracy after March 11th, Ōtsuki Shoten, 2017.
Professor of History in the School of Law at Meiji University. His current research focusses on the history of German, Jewish and Japanese anarchism. His publications include Doitsu anākizumu no seiritsu (Making of German anarchism), Ochanomizu Shobō, 2002; and Japan and the High Treason Incident, Routledge, 2013 (co-author).
Professor of Sociology in the Graduate School of Humanities, Tokyo Metropolitan University. He specialises in the studies of international migration. He authored Migrant Workers in Contemporary Japan: An Institutional Perspective on Transnational Employment, Trans Pacific Press, 2013; and Gaikokujin no jinken no shakaigaku (Sociology of foreigners’ human rights in Japan), Yoshida Shoten, 2018.
Professor, Research Institute for Islands Sustainability, Ryukyu University. He has published in the area of the history of modern Okinawa, including Okinawa: Kichi shakai no kigen to sōkoku (Okinawa: The origins of military base society and its conflict with the US, 1945–56), Keisō Shobō, 2013.
Table of contents
Introduction – Post-Fukushima Social Movements in Japan: An Overview
1. Amorphous Dissent – a Conceptualization
2. What Have Post-3.11 Social Movements Changed?
3. Post-3.11 Social Movements and Politics
4. Amateur Revolt: The Amorphous Social Movement Resisting the System
5. Twenty Years of Confrontation: Against the Ossification of US Military Bases in Okinawa
6. Opposing Hate Speech in Japan: Valuing Differences and Breaking New Ground for Human Rights