International Handbooks on Gender series
Edited by Simona Sharoni, Julia Welland, Linda Steiner and Jennifer Pedersen
Chapter 21: Gendered dimensions of anti-war protest in Japan
This chapter provides an overview of antiwar protests in Japan from a gender perspective. Chan discusses how Korean and other Asian feminist networks, together with minority feminist movements in Japan, challenge the mainstream gender equality paradigm and bring a diversity of women’s war experiences and narratives from intersectional perspectives of gender, race, colonialism and class. Feminist antiwar mobilization has enabled a rewriting of history and international law concerning women’s specific wartime experiences and, in particular, those of colonized and racialized minority women. Chan critically questions each of the four core constructs in the chapter title: war, gender, protests and Japan. The first section deconstructs the notions of war and nation in the Japanese context from the multiple antiwar protest movements spanning the last six decades. This is followed by an examination of the predominant gender equality narrative in Japan and the proposal of an alternative approach to gender, namely intersectionality, which allows us also to consider the factors of nation, coloniality, race and empire. The third section focuses on the two examples of war crime responsibility and anti-base activism to discuss the gender dimensions of antiwar protest in Japan. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the implications of feminist interventions in renewed peace movements in Japan.
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