POSTWAR JAPAN: Feminism and Protest Movements
R. Loftus, Walton 144
This class will explore how the Allied Occupation and the new constitution shaped modern Japan. It was in this context that the economic recovery and the reconstruction of Japan occurred, giving rise to the "postwar economic miracle" and the remarkable period of "high-speed economic growth." Women were granted the right to vote in early postwar Japan and soon became active on a variety of political and economic stages. In 1960, some 16 million Japanese citizens engaged in a political protest movement against their government; one consequence of this movement was the introduction of second-wave feminism in 1970 with the appearance of the “women’s lib” movement. Though many times smaller than the 1960 protest, the impact of women’s lib was deep and sustained. We will examine the events and the narratives of several women’s lives which will deepen our understanding of this period, and some of the most powerful currents in modern Japan's cultural and social history.
Specific Student Learning Outcomes. Students will gain:
· familiarity with the most important issues surrounding the end of the war and the decision by the U.S. to use atomic weapons.
· an understanding of the complex process by which policies for the Allied Occupation of Japan were developed and implemented.
· an understanding of how the position of women changed in postwar Japan and how the "Women's Liberation Movement" of 1970 affected women's lives
·an appreciation of how certain films and filmmakers addressed issues of concern to postwar Japanese.
· an appreciation of the important issues of Japan’s sense of its own war responsibility, the future of nuclear power and energy use in Japan, and of the current constitution, rearmament possibilities.
· a general awareness and appreciation of environment and sustainability issues in Japan
Gary Allinson, Japan's Postwar History, 2nd edition
Jeffrey Kingston, Japan in Transformation 1952-2010, 2nd edition (2011)
(contains useful Documents in Part 4)
Ronald Loftus, Changing Lives: The 'Postwar' in Japanese Women's Autobiographies and Memoirs (AAS, 2013)
Also, PDFs on WISE and related Online Materials will also be assigned
Some generally useful online materials:
See also the Library of Congress sourcebook on Japan; it has some relevant sections.
There is a very good site on Photography and Social Research in the Occupation posted by an occupation participant.
See an excellent collection of Japan Links (find History under Miscellaneous); and useful electronic sources on the Japanese Economy
This class will be conducted in a seminar/discussion mode which means that we will discuss readings together in class rather than have formal lectures. On regular occasions, students will assume primary responsibility for leading and conducting the discussion by preparing readings to summarize and present to the class.
There are a number of excellent documentaries as well as some great Japanese feature films from this era that we will view in order in order to acquire a sense of both popular culture and issues that were important to filmmakers and the public in the postwar years.
1. Regular attendance and class participation including short presentations on assigned readings (15%); and
2. 5 short response or reaction papers (3-4 pp) on films and readings (35%)
3. 2 medium-length papers (6-7 pages) (20%) **
a) one due Nov. 6 on any topic or readings covered between September 11 and October 21. For example, legacies of the occupation, the issue of war responsibility, Article 9 and the postwar Constitution, Education and Land Reform in the early Occupation years, the war crimes trials, the decision not to prosecute emperor Hirohito, postwar politics, the 1955 system, etc.; the environment and sustainability, the Minamata pullution case and its lessons, the Ampo demonstrations, and their significance. Please come talk to me about your ideas.
b) another on a topic of your choice due Dec. 11, slightly longer (7-8 pp), dealing with war memories and reconcnciliation, the comfort women issue, the Asian Women's Fund, the Kono Statement, PM Abe's equivocating about it, women's liberation and feminism in the 1970s, the postwar economic miracle, the demographic time bomb, the bursting of the economic bubble, the issue of US bases in Okinawa, the controversy over the fate of Okinawan civilians during the Battle of Okinawa, etc. The Documents in the Kingston book are very relevant here, Please come talk to me about your ideas. (30%)
An in-class presentation of your final paper topic is required during the final week of classes.
**Some elaboration of possible paper ideas can be found at the end of this syllabus.
Reading and Discussion Schedule
August 26 Endings...and Beginnings: August 15, 1945
Introduction to the Course
Other Surrender DocumentIntroduction to the Course
Video: Reinventing Japan--brief introduction
Introduction to Video, ABC News Report on "Hiroshima: Why the Bomb was Dropped" (67 minutes)
See interesting article by John Dower on Japan's Occupation of Manchuria
Aug. 28 How the War Began and Ended and The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb I
Allinson, Intro and Ch. 1, “Antecedents” 1932-1945, 1-44
View ABC News Report on "Hiroshima: Why the Bomb was Dropped" (67 minutes)
Personal Accounts of bombing 1 and 2
Sept. 2 Ending the War, War Responsibility, and the Decision to Drop the Bomb II
Continue with Allinson, Intro and Ch. 1, “Antecedents” 1932-1945, 1-44;
Finish Viewing ABC News Report on "Hiroshima: Why the Bomb was Dropped" (67 minutes)
Readings for next class period (9/4):
Discuss: John Dower, "The Most Terrible Bomb in the History of the World," on WISE, Resources, "John_Dower.pdf" (student-led discussion)
Rreference: Takaki, Hiroshima: Why America Dropped the Bomb, Chapter 3 (30 pp) (see "Takaki" folder on Resources section on WISE for Takaki 3. pdf)
Herbert Bix on The "Imperial Monologues" and War Responsibility
For Further Reference:
More Video on the Occupation: Reinventing Japan
See the Smithsonian Exhibition and Poster Gallery on The Confusion Era 1945-1952 for excellent visuals
Sept. 4 Occupying Japan
Discuss John Dower, "The Most Terrible Bomb in the History of the World," on WISE, Resources, "John_Dower.pdf" (student-led discussion) and Reference: Takaki, Hiroshima: Why America Dropped the Bomb, Chapter 3 (30 pp) (see "Takaki" folder on Resources section on WISE for Takaki 3. pdf)
For next week:
Read Allinson, Ch. 2 "Revival," 45-82; and
Kingston, Japan in Transformation, Chs. 1-2 (3-16)
Loftus, Changing Lives, Ch. 1 "Endings and Beginnings" (sign up for discussion)
Sept. 9 Assessing the Past in the Early Postwar Period
Discuss: Loftus Ch. 1 "Endings and Beginnings" (student-led discussion)
Sept. 11 The Past into the Present: Postwar Politics and Economy
Read Kingston, Japan in Transformation, Ch. 3 "Postwar Politics"
Response Paper #1 on the "Decision to Drop the Bomb/Reinventing Japan," 3-4 pages
Sept. 16 Democracy and Democratization
Discuss: Kingston, Japan in Transformation, Ch. 3 "Postwar Politics"
Finish No Regrets for our Youth
Read: "War Responsibility and Historical Memory: Hirohito’s Apparition" by Herbert P. Bix
Wadatsumi no koe--Listen to the Voices of the Deep
Sept. 18 Evading War Responsibility
Sept. 23 The Workplace and Society
Discuss: Loftus, Changing Lives, Ch. 2 (student-led discussion)
See also Allinson, Ch. 3 “Growth”
Response Paper #2 due: No Regrets for our Youth, 3-4 pages
See book review with bibliography of The Birth of Japan's Postwar Constitution by Koseki Shoichi
See two discussions from Jan. 11, 2000 in the Yomiuri newspaper about the constitution
For other links to the Constitution click here
Sept. 25 Contextualizing the Occuptation: Postwar Reforms and The Constitution
The 1955 or The San Francisco System: Past, Present, Future in U.S.-Japan-China Relations—8 Problematic Legacies by John Dower
See the National Diet Library Website on the Birth of the Constitution for all the appropriate documents
Sept. 30 The War Crime Trials and Censored Democracy: The Emperor in Film
Discus Kyoko Hirano, "The Depiction of the Emperor [in film]" (see "Hirano Ch. 3" on Resources section of WISE for a pdf copy)
IMTFE and Rape of Nanjing
Oct. 2 Anti-Nuclear Testing and Pollution Protests: Lucky Dragon Incident, Women and Protest
Finish Grave of the Fireflies
Contextualizing the Occupation
Oct. 9 The Environment and Sustainability in Postwar Japan: Overview
Read and Discuss: Kingston, Contemporary Japan, "Envrionmental Issues," PDF on Wise
Oct. 14 The Minamata Pollution Case:
Read and Discuss (student-led discussion)
1. GeorgeMinamata.pdf on WISE (Resources)--Intro, Ch. 9, Conclusion, and Epilogue
“Fukushima in Light of Minamata” Timothy George (very short)
Oct. 16 The Labor Movement in Early Postwar Japan
Read and Discuss Joe Moore, "Japanese Workers and the Struggle for Power" Ch. 2, pp. 48-61; Chs.7- 8 (see "Moore" Folder on Resources section of WISE for pdf copies).
Read and Discuss David Halberstam, The Reckoning, Ch. 7-9 (52 pp., 131-187) in "Halberstam" folder on Resources section WISE for a pdf copies.
Oct. 21 The AMPO Movement: 1960 Conflict over the US-Japan Security Treaty
See page on Ampo;
Discuss: SasakiAmpo.pdf (26pp) on "Resources" section of WISE, an excerpt from Wesley Uemura Sasaki's book, Organizing the Spontaneous
PDF "Bloody May Day" on WISE, Resources Section (student-led discussion)
Maruyama Masao and Yoshimoto Takaaki's Views: See, Kersten.pdf (14pp) on "Resources" section of WISE for more on the Security Treaty Crisis
Response Paper #4 Grave of the Fireflies, or Readings on "Envrironmental Issues" 3-4 pages
Oct. 23 Women and Popular Movements I
Ichiyo Muto"The Birth of the Women's Movement in the 1970s" (see "Resources" section of Wise for a pdf copy, "muto.pdf")
Read Kingston Ch. 7; Doc. 20-23
Oct. 28 Women in Postwar Japan II
Read and Discuss: Loftus, Changing Lives, Ch. 3 (student-led discussion)
Gender Issues/Women in Japan
Oct. 30 Discuss/Reflect on Loftus, Ripples and Women's Movement in Japan
Read and Discuss: Loftus, Changing Lives, Ch. 4 (student-led discussion)
Begin Documentary Film: Thirty Years of Sisterhood
Nov. 4 Women and the Demographic Time Bomb
Read and Discuss: Loftus, Changing Lives, Ch. 5 (student-led discussion)
Continue Documentary Film: Thirty Years of Sisterhood
Nov. 6 Women in Postwar Japan III
Finish Loftus, Changing Lives, Ch. 5
Kingston Ch. 8, "Demographic Time Bomb," Doc. 24
Begin Overview Japanese Postwar Economic Miracle
Nov. 11 The Postwar Economic Takeoff and Miracle and Social Change
Read and Discuss: Kingston Chs. 4-6, and Document 4 (Chalmers Johnson), Doc. 5 "End of the Miracle," and Doc. 31 (Richard Katz) - Doc. 32 (Changing Employment System)
Chalmers Johnson PDF on "The Economic Miracle" on WISE (JohnsonEconMiracle.pdf)
1st medium-length paper due (6-7 pp)
Nov. 13 More on the Postwar Economic Miracle and Social Change
Kingston Ch. 9, "Requiem for Japan, Inc."; Document 25-27
Will the Japanese Economy Recover?
Nov. 18 The Bubble Bursts: After the Economic Miracle, Japan in the 1990s-2000s
Kingston, Ch. 10 and 11 (In Retrospect); Documents 28-30
Three more articles on the Bubble;
See also more recent Lessons from US and Japanese Bubbles
Response Paper #5: Ripples of Change, 30 Years of Sisterhood, and Loftus Chs. 3-4 Due
Nov. 20 War Memory, Responsibility, Comfort Women, and Yasukuni Shrine
Kingston, Contemporary Japan, “War Memory and Responsibility," PDF on Wise dealing with Yasukuni Shrine and adjacent Yushukan Museum
Also: Kingston, Japan in Transformation, Ch. 5 plus Docs. 6-10
See the critical commentary on Koizumi's visits to Yasukuni Shrine and as discussed by Kingston in the PDF above
Start Brainstorming Topics for final paper (7-8 pp) due Dec. 11
Nov. 25 More on War Memory, Responsibility, Comfort Women, and Yasukuni Shrine
Continue Brainstorming Topics for final paper (7-8 pp) due Dec. 11
Thanksgiving Break Nov. 27-30
Dec. 2 Student Presentations on Paper Topics
Dec. 4 Student Presentations on Paper Topics
**Regarding the first of the medium length papers, I would like you to pull out something from the readings or about specific events during the occupation years, and write an expository essay on something you deem intersting or important. You can base this paper entirely on assigned materials but your discussion of them should show careful thought and reflection. For example, topics growing out of occupation reform policies such as educational reform, land reform, economic deconcentration, as well as topics like the spread of radical unionism and labor unrest, the call for the General Strike, the Reverse Course, the issue of war responsibility, the protection of emperor Hirohito from inquiries into his role and the opposition to his abdication, the framing of the postwar constitution and the issue of constitutional reform today,Environmental issues like the Minamata Incident and other pollution cases, the meaning of the Ampo Demonstrations and their impact, etc. might be considered as topics.
**Regarding the second medium-length and final paper, I am envisioning not a formal research paper but rather a discussion paper on a topic of your choice likely drawn from Alllinson, Kingston or Loftus in one of their chapters, or any of the assigned articles and PDFs; but you will want to find some additional sources that shed light on your topic. In other words, use the materials we have talked about together but also build and develop your discussion beyond just the class readings. For example, if you are interested in feminism and the women's movement in Japan, you could write a paper drawing upon Changing Lives and other materials on Japanese women that we discussed. You will have submitted a response paper on the two videos Ripples of Change and 30 Years of Sisterhood with examples drawn from Yoshitake Teruko and Kishino Junko anyway; what if you stepped back a little further, looked at all or most of the women excerpted in Changing Lives, and probed more deeply into their experiences and what their narratives have to say to us? There are other women you could bring in from earlier periods like: Takamure itsue, Kaneko Fumiko, Oku Memeo, Takai Toshio, Sata Ineko, Nishi Kiyoko, Fukunaga Misao--most of whom are excerpted in my earlier book, Telling Lives (2004). By looking at memoirs you are using primary materials, voices speaking to us from Japan, which is a good thing.
Yet another idea: if you are interested in the problem of Japan's demographic time bomb, you could tie in some of Kanamori's writing from Ch. 5 in Changing Lives, dovetail it with Kingston's Chs 7 and 8, and the relevant Documents he places in the back of his book, and round it out with some additional library or online materials. The Documents in Kingston's book seem like great jumping off places for paper ideas.
You certainly might select a topic such as
--Japan's postwar economic miracle and the economic situation today
--environmental issues arising from unbridled growth,
--the question of prewar and wartime history in Japanese textbooks and in museums, etc. Japanese apologies and reconciliation issues
--the Korean minority in Japan, its challenges and future
--the issue of US bases in Okinawa, and Japan's future
--the controversy over the fate of Okinawan civilians during the Battle of Okinawa,
--the position of women in contemporary Japanese society,
--the women's lib movement and its impact, the role of Tanaka Mitsu, etc.
--the question of the comfort women, the Asian Women's Fund, the Kono Statement, and other wartime atrocities like Unit 731: what should Japan do now?
--If you would like to pursue the work of a postwar Japanese writer or filmmaker, you could do this by discussing some of their principal works and what they have to say about postwar Japanese society or culture.
The final paper will be due Thursday, Dec. 11 by 3:00 pm.
As far as writing style, organization and footnoting go, you might find Diane Hacker's online resource site useful: