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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Asian Studies

Postgraduate Course: Radical Japan: culture, politics and protest in Japan's "Long 1960s" (PG Version) (ASST11095)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryIn many respects the image of an economically driven, politically turgid and socially harmonious Japan remains dominant. But in the immediate four decades of the postwar period this was anything but the case. In particular, the "long 1960s" witnessed a distinct and far reaching radicalism in Japan, both on the left and the right, and the advent of a virulent cultural politics that posed a range of challenges to the foundations of Japanese political and social life. This course asks questions about the origins of this politics, its forms, and its legacy, and to answer these questions students will engage with a wide range of primary sources in Japanese and English, including films, literature, art and photography, and the growing secondary literature in English on the subject. This course is jointly taught with undergraduate students.
Course description 1. The state of play: occupation, constitution and the reverse course
2. Politics, protest and subjectivity
3. Ampo 1
4. Taking over the university
5. Ampo 2, Beheiren, and civil Society
6. The United Red Army and the end of it all?
7. What went wrong (according to Oshima Nagisa)
8. Art and revolution: Akasegawa Genpei and the 1000 yen note incident
9. Provoke!
10. Women's Lib in Japan
11. Legacies of an era of protest
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1 x 3500 word essay (75%)
1 x presentation on primary materials related to one of the seminar topics (25%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Recall and summarise a broad historical account of Japanese political movements in the 'long 1960s'.
  2. Explain the reasons for student unrest in Japan and put the Japanese case in comparative context.
  3. Use historical evidence and theoretical frameworks drawn from the literature on cultural and politics to explore the impact of cultural interventions into Japanese politics in the 1960s.
  4. Make critical use of a range of primary sources from the period, including photography, cinema, diary extracts, literature and newsletters, when discussing and explaining the relationship between culture and politics in 1960s Japan.
  5. Assess the impact of the period on contemporary Japan, specifically in terms of bottom up political movements, student politics, relationship between politics and the arts, and global social movements..
Learning Resources
Primary Materials (Films to be screened by course organiser. All other primary material to be supplied by course organiser via Learn):

Anpo! (Documentary)
Night and Fog in Japan (Film, dir: Oshima Nagisa)
A Man Vanishes (Film, dir: Imamura Shohei)
Extracts from Shukan Ampo (newsletter)
Extracts from Beheiren News (newsletter
Extracts from Nagata Hiroko's memoir
Extracts from Sakaguchi Hiroshi's memoir
Extracts from Otsuki Setsuko's diary
Examples of Akasegawa Genpei's work
Selection photographs by Hamaya Hiroshi
Selection of photographs by Moriyama Daido and Yutaka Takanashi
Extracts from demo iko! (guidebook on contemporary protest)

Secondary literature (all articles will be provided via Learn):
Ando, T., 2013. Transforming "Everydayness": Japanese New Left Movements and the Meaning of their Direct Action. Japanese Studies, 33(1), pp.1-18.

Asada, A., 2000. A LEFT WITHIN THE PLACE OF NOTHINGNESS. New Left Review, 5, pp.1-26.

Avenell, S., 2006. Regional egoism as the public good: residents' movements in Japan during the 1960s and 1970s. Japan Forum, 18(1), pp.89-113.

DALIOT-BUL, M., 2013. The Formation of 'Youth' as a Social Category in Pre-1970s Japan: A Forgotten Chapter of Japanese Postwar Youth Countercultures. Social Science Japan Journal.

Desser, D., 1998. Eros Plus Massacre: an Introduction to the Japanese New Wave Cinema, Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Eckersall, P., 2011. The Emotional Geography of Shinjuku: The Case of Chikatetsu Hiroba (Underground Plaza, 1970). Japanese Studies, 31(3), pp.333-343.

Fuse, T., 1969. Student Radicalism in Japan: A" Cultural Revolution"? Comparative Education Review, pp.325-342.

Hasegawa, K., 2006. Student Soldiers The Japanese Communist Party's 'Period of Extreme Leftist Adventurism.' Stanford Journal of East Asian Affairs, 6(1), pp.42-52.

Hasegawa, K., 2003. In Search of a New Radical Left: The Rise and Fall of the Anpo Bund, 1955 - 1960. Stanford Journal of East Asian Affairs, 3(1), pp.75-92.

Igarashi, Y., 2007. Dead Bodies and Living Guns: The United Red Army and Its Deadly Pursuit of Revolution, 1971-1972. Japanese Studies, 27(2), pp.119-137.

KERSTEN, R., 2009. The Intellectual Culture of Postwar Japan and the 1968-1969 University of Tokyo Struggles: Repositioning the Self in Postwar Thought. Social Science Japan Journal, 12(2), pp.227-245.

Koschmann, J.V., 1981. The Debate on Subjectivity in Postwar Japan: Foundations of Modernism as a Political Critique. Pacific Affairs, 54(4), pp.609-631.

Kuriyama, Y., 1973. Terrorism at Tel Aviv Airport and a 'New Left' Group in Japan. Asian Survey, 13(3), pp.336-346.

Mackie, V., 2011. Embodied Memories, Emotional Geographies: Nakamoto Takako's Diary of the Anpo Struggle. Japanese Studies, 31(3), pp.319-331.

MAROTTI, W. A. (2013). Money, trains, and guillotines: art and revolution in 1960s Japan. Durham and London, Duke University Press.

McCormack, G., 1971. The Student Left in Japan. The New Left Review, 1(65), pp.37-52. Available at:

Masafumi, F. & Fritsch, L., 2012. Is the World Beautiful? Moriyama Daidos Provocation of the History of Photography. Art In Translation, 4(4), pp.459-474.

McKnight, A. & Hayashi, S., 2005. Good-bye kitty, hello war: the tactics of spectacle and new youth movements in urban Japan. positions: east asia cultures critique, 13(1), pp.87-113.

Olson, L., 1978. Intellectuals and 'The People;' On Yoshimoto Takaaki. Journal of Japanese Studies, 4(2), pp.327-357.

Olson, L., 1981. Takeuchi Yoshimi and the Vision of a Protest Society in Japan. Journal of Japanese Studies, 7(2), pp.319-348.

Shigematsu, S., 2012. The Japanese Women's Liberation Movement and the United Red Army. Feminist Media Studies, 12(2), pp.163-179.

Standish, I., 2009. Night and Fog in Japan: Fifty Years On. Journal of Japanese & Korean Cinema, 1(2), pp.143-155.

Sasaki-Uemura, W.M., 2002. Competing Publics: Citizens' Groups, Mass Media, and the State in the 1960s. positions: east asia cultures critique, 10(1), pp.79-110.

Sherif, A., 2009. Japan's Cold War: media, literature, and the law, New York: Columbia University Press.

Steinhoff, P.G., 2013. Memories of New Left protest. Journal of the German Institute for Japanese Studies Tokyo, 25(2), pp.127-165.

Steinhoff, P.G., 2000. Doing the Defendant's Laundry: Support Groups as Social Movement Organizations in Contemporary Japan. pp.1-24.

Steinhoff, P.G., 1989. Hijackers, bombers, and bank robbers: managerial style in the Japanese Red Army. Journal of Asian Studies, 48(4), pp.724-740.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Presentation skills; translation and analysis of Japanese texts
Special Arrangements Jointly taught with ASST10139
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Christopher Perkins
Tel: (0131 6)50 4174
Course secretaryMiss Hope Hamilton
Tel: (0131 6)50 4167
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