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Making Japanese CitizensCivil Society and the Mythology of the Shimin in Postwar Japan$
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Simon Andrew Avenell

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520262706

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520262706.001.0001

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Mass Society, Anpo, and the Birth of the Shimin

Mass Society, Anpo, and the Birth of the Shimin

(p.62) Chapter 2 Mass Society, Anpo, and the Birth of the Shimin
Making Japanese Citizens

Simon Andrew Avenell

University of California Press

The Anpo struggle was a breakthrough for civic activism in postwar Japan. That was the moment when the intellectuals of the movement drew together the many strands of thought and activism from the early postwar years, molding these into a potent model for collective action—the mythology of the shimin. The civic idea and activism after the Anpo struggle is analyzed in this chapter. The wider cycle of protest during the struggle is elaborated to show how the national movement created a political opportunity for the new citizens' movements. The chapter also outlined the role of intellectuals in rehabilitating and then re-conceptualizing the shimin as a progressive activist identity in the years leading up to and during the events of 1960. The ways of the movement's intellectuals who placed the shimin idea into practice are also discussed in this chapter. In connection with the content of the chapter, the kinds of movements which have mobilized in the name of the shimin and the ways they articulated their political objectives are discussed as well.

Keywords:   politics, shimin, movements, intellectuals, Anpo struggle

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