April 23, 2015/ 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

UCLA Bunche Hall Room 6275

Doubling Down on the Negative

Anti-anti nukes, the Anti-anti foreign, and rightist positivity in post-3.11 Japan

Colloquium with Nathaniel Smith, University of Arizona

Photo: Nathaniel Smith, 2014 (still from video). 

A core characteristic of Japan’s postwar Right is self-definition by opposition—political programs drawn around “anti-” stances. Remnants of this antagonistic sentiment echo daily from armored vans and megaphones across the Japanese archipelago. Yet, by the 1990s, a concatenation of events including the end of the Cold War, the decline of domestic leftist groups, the death of the Showa Emperor, legal changes affecting rightists’ ability to secure funding, and Japan’s extended economic malaise disturbed the polarity of reactionary stances that once oriented the Right. Against this backdrop, the popular groundswell of post-3.11 anti-nuclear activism and its troubling twin, the rise of anti-foreign activism led by groups such as the Zaitokukai, have significantly remapped the terrain of Japanese civil society. 

Nathaniel M. Smith is an assistant professor of East Asian Studies and affiliated faculty at the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona. A cultural anthropologist specializing in Japan, Smith's research focuses on nationalism, social movements, and organized crime. Prior to joining the faculty of the University of Arizona, Dr. Smith spent two years serving as Japan Foundation Faculty Fellow in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr Smith holds a Ph.D in anthropology and MA in East Asian Studies from Yale University, an MA in International Relations from Waseda University, and a BA in Foreign Language from the Department of Comparative Literature and Foreign Language from the University of California, Riverside.

***NEW TIME: 2:00PM TO 4:00PM***

Free and open to the public

Download file: 423colloquiumflyer-1u-pee.pdf

Sponsor(s): Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies