Japan: The other , lesser-known 1968
The analysis of May 68 in Paris, Berkeley, and the Western world has been widely reconsidered. But 1968 is not only a year that conjures up images of Paris, Frankfurt, or Milan: it is also the pivotal year for a new anti-colonial and anti-capitalist politicsto erupt across the Third World, a crucial and central moment in the history, thought, and politics of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. Japan's position neither in the West nor in the Third World provoked a complex and intense round of mass mobilizations through the 1960s and early 70s. Although the '68 revolutions of the Global North Western Europe and North America are widely known, the Japanese situation remains remarkably under-examined globally. Beginning in the late 1950s, a New Left, independent of the prewar Japanese communist moment (itself of major historical importance in the 1920s and 30s), came to produce one of the most vibrant decades of political organization, political thought, and political aesthetics in the global twentieth century. In the present volume, major thinkers of the Left in Japan alongside scholars of the 1968 movements reexamine the theoretical sources, historical background, cultural productions, and major organizational problems of the 1968 revolutions in Japan.
Gavin Walker is Associate Professor at McGill University. He is a member of the editorial collective of positions: asia critique (Duke University Press) and author of The Sublime Perversion of Capital: Marxist Theory and the Politics of History in Modern Japan (Durham & London: Duke University Press, 2016)