This talk examines a series of increasingly contentious and violent protests and counter-protests in Japan’s “high growth era” from roughly 1950 to 1970. These clashes arose out of fundamental contradictions in the policies of the U.S. military occupation of Japan after World War II, and were further fueled by the rapid social transformations that accompanied high-speed economic growth.
At stake were fundamental issues such as Japan’s international orientation in the Cold War, how to divide the growing economic pie, who would bear the costs of economic growth, and ultimately, Japan’s national identity itself.
Nick Kapur is an Assistant Professor of History at Rutgers University - Camden. He primarily studies modern Japan and East Asia, with an emphasis on transnational and comparative perspectives, and examines the intersections between political economy, culture, and international relations. His other research interests include environmental history, gender history, literature, and film. His new book, Japan at the Crossroads: Conflict and Compromise after Anpo, explores the impact of the massive 1960 protests in Japan on U.S.-Japan relations, Japanese society and culture, and the Cold War international system.
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- Asian/Pacific Studies Institute