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Lectures

How to Resist Policing: The Practical Meanings of Towel Masks for Student Protesters in Late 1960s Japan

Masks have long been a symbol of resistance movements around the world, especially in East Asia. As early as the 1960s, protestors in Japan began wearing masks during their demonstrations. Masks became a part of the uniform of the late 1960s protesters for causes such as the Vietnam War, the university system, and the evictions for Narita Airport.

It is …

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Books

Self-Exploration in the Age of Digital Surveillance

In reading this exquisitely beautiful book by Li Zhang, on the emergence of a new psychotherapeutic space in China, I was deeply struck by her notion of the “inner revolution.” This is an evocative term that not only points to the fundamental revolutions that the Chinese state has gone through over the course of a century, but also the ways …

Categories
Lectures

Those Who Come Early: Reflections on the Social Standing of Senior Citizens in the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Japan

This article is part of the following series:

Morning Queues

The drugstore opened at ten in the morning in a Tokyo suburb. Despite it being a cold, rainy Monday at the beginning of April, seven people were already standing in a queue waiting for the store to open. They were there to buy face masks, even though there were signs on the front wall stating, This shop will

Categories
Lectures

The potentials and challenges of citizen science: 9 years of experience from post-Fukushima Japan

The Fukushima nuclear disaster took place nine years ago, but the current situation does not allow us to put it behind us completely. The site is producing up to 750 tons of contaminated water every day, pressuring the capacity of the holding tanks. The decommissioning of the plants is still ongoing and is expected to take decades to complete (…

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Features

Gramps and the Gangster visit the memory clinic

“Are you free tomorrow?”

“Sure, what’s going on?”

“It’s a big day for Gramps! I’m taking him to the doctor. I guess someone from the ward office said he ought to be checked for dementia.”

I could tell Ken was trying to make a joke about this ‘big day,’ but as he started slowly walking past me, he leaned his …

Categories
Features

Risk is Your Business: Citizen Science after Fukushima

I began to sweat profusely when my Geiger counter registered a radiation level of 13 microsieverts per hour—a number that indicated a high level of radioactivity. Worried, I glanced at my guide, Mr. Kan’no. The latter seems unperturbed, replying with a wry smile: “See? I told you the radiation level would be high near the gate!” Mr. Kan’no is not …

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