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From the "People" to the "Citizen": Tsurumi Shunsuke and the Roots of Civic Mythology in Postwar Japan

From the "People" to the "Citizen": Tsurumi Shunsuke and the Roots of Civic Mythology in Postwar... From the “People” to the “Citizen”: Tsurumi Shunsuke and the Roots of Civic Mythology in Postwar Japan Simon Avenell What could be more emblematic of postwar Japanese democracy than the spontaneous birth of the “citizen” (shimin) in the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty struggle (Anpo ts) of 1960? As the story goes, it was during Anpo that thousands of ordinary citizens came out to oppose the politics of Prime Minister Kishi Nobusuke and his supporters in the conservative Liberal Democratic Party. Organizing into egalitarian, nonideological groups, these shimin protestors apparently laid the foundation for a new autonomous form of activism and, for some, represented the first real sparks of popular democratic consciousness in the postwar period. Once a signifier of everything petit bourgeois and self-interested, now the shimin reemerged as the vehicle of social change, the watchdog and enemy of the state, and the guardian of democracy. Roused by the massive outpouring of popular dissent, shimin advocates at the time declared the birth of a new “civic conpositions 16:3 doi 10.1215/10679847-2008-019 Copyright 2008 by Duke University Press pos163_10_Avenell.indd 711 positions 16:3 Winter 2008 sciousness” (shimin ishiki) and a “vigorous civic spirit” (yakud suru shimin seishin).1 The philosopher Kuno Osamu famously http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png positions asia critique Duke University Press

From the "People" to the "Citizen": Tsurumi Shunsuke and the Roots of Civic Mythology in Postwar Japan

positions asia critique , Volume 16 (3) – Dec 1, 2008

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
© 2008 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1067-9847
eISSN
1067-9847
DOI
10.1215/10679847-2008-019
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

From the “People” to the “Citizen”: Tsurumi Shunsuke and the Roots of Civic Mythology in Postwar Japan Simon Avenell What could be more emblematic of postwar Japanese democracy than the spontaneous birth of the “citizen” (shimin) in the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty struggle (Anpo ts) of 1960? As the story goes, it was during Anpo that thousands of ordinary citizens came out to oppose the politics of Prime Minister Kishi Nobusuke and his supporters in the conservative Liberal Democratic Party. Organizing into egalitarian, nonideological groups, these shimin protestors apparently laid the foundation for a new autonomous form of activism and, for some, represented the first real sparks of popular democratic consciousness in the postwar period. Once a signifier of everything petit bourgeois and self-interested, now the shimin reemerged as the vehicle of social change, the watchdog and enemy of the state, and the guardian of democracy. Roused by the massive outpouring of popular dissent, shimin advocates at the time declared the birth of a new “civic conpositions 16:3 doi 10.1215/10679847-2008-019 Copyright 2008 by Duke University Press pos163_10_Avenell.indd 711 positions 16:3 Winter 2008 sciousness” (shimin ishiki) and a “vigorous civic spirit” (yakud suru shimin seishin).1 The philosopher Kuno Osamu famously

Journal

positions asia critiqueDuke University Press

Published: Dec 1, 2008

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