Student Radicalism and the Formation of Postwar Japan by Kenji Hasegawa (z-lib.org).pdf

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Unformatted text preview: NEW DIRECTIONS IN EAST ASIAN HISTORY Student Radicalism and the Formation of Postwar Japan Kenji Hasegawa New Directions in East Asian History Series Editors Oliviero Frattolillo Roma Tre University Rome, Italy Yuichi Hosoya Keio University Tokyo, Japan Antony Best London School of Economics London, UK This series addresses the ways in which history influences the political, economic and social development of East Asia, a region which now plays a pivotal role in our world’s multipolar international system. The series provides new perspectives on East Asia’s distinctive economic and political situation through the lens of 20th century history, with a particular focus on Pre-War and Cold War periods. It argues the need to re-examine the history of East Asia and provide new historical approaches to a vibrant and constantly changing region. Highlighting that history is at the root of many modern day conflicts in Asia, this series provides a global forum for rigorous academic research and timely debate by scholars worldwide, and showcases significant new research on East Asian history and politics in the contemporary era. The series will appeal to specialists in the history and politics of Asia; international history; scholars of modern and contemporary Japan, China and Korea as well as international relations. More information about this series at Kenji Hasegawa Student Radicalism and the Formation of Postwar Japan Kenji Hasegawa Yokohama National University Yokohama, Japan ISSN 2522-0195     ISSN 2522-0209 (electronic) New Directions in East Asian History ISBN 978-981-13-1776-7    ISBN 978-981-13-1777-4 (eBook) Library of Congress Control Number: 2018952365 © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are solely and exclusively licensed by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. The publisher, the authors and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication. Neither the publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, express or implied, with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The publisher remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. Cover credit: Michael Rougier This Palgrave Macmillan imprint is published by the registered company Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. The registered company address is: 152 Beach Road, #21-­01/04 Gateway East, Singapore 189721, Singapore Acknowledgments This book is based on the research I began as a graduate student in the Department of History at Stanford University. My gratitude goes first and foremost to my adviser Peter Duus for his mentorship and inspiration. I would also like to thank Masayo Duus for generously sharing her insights and experiences. I am deeply grateful to Oliviero Frattolillo and my editors at Palgrave Macmillan for their support and guidance. I am also indebted to Reiko Shinno for introducing me to key people in the initial stages of my research and organizing a panel that allowed me to sharpen my analyses in their final stages. Iwasaki Minoru of Tokyo University of Foreign Studies encouraged me to develop my interest of the early 1950s and introduced me to study groups that broadened my perspective. Tarumi Chie pushed me to sustain my inquiries on this topic. Chris Perkins, Fumiko Narumi-Monro, and the faculty and students at The University of Edinburgh’s Asian Studies department provided me with an invaluable opportunity to develop sections of this work. In the final stages of my research, I was fortunate to be a part of an enriching symposium where Chiranan Pitpreecha graciously shared her poetry and experiences on the Thai student movement, with Yomota Inuhiko providing incisive commentary. This book would not have been possible without the patient support of the librarians at Yokohama National University, the stimulating engagement of my students, and the emotional support of my family. v Contents 1 Introduction    1 2 From Shinjinkai to Zengakuren: Petit Bourgeois Students and the Postwar Revolution, 1945–1950   13 3 ‘Impressionable Students and Excitable Koreans’: Internal Factors in the JCP’s Anti-­American Radicalization, 1945–1952  51 4 Guerilla Warfare in Postwar Japan: The Ogōchi sanson kōsakutai, 1950–1952   89 5 Waging ‘Peace’ in Post-Occupation Japan: The Uchinada Base Protests of 1953  125 6 Postwar Departures and Reversions in Mid-­1950s Japan: Chongryon, Okinawa, and ‘Bloody Sunagawa’ 167 Index 213 vii CHAPTER 1 Introduction The ‘Ceremony to Commemorate the Regaining of Sovereignty and Return to the International Community,’ 2013 On April 28, 2013, the Japanese government conducted the ‘Ceremony to Commemorate the Regaining of Sovereignty and Return to the International Community’ in an effort to resurrect this forgotten date in national memory. The ceremony came in the wake of the March 2011 natural and nuclear disasters, which seemed to signal the closure of Japan’s long ‘postwar’ that formed in the mid-1950s, defined by subordinate independence to the US and a national identity based on technical and economic prowess. The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) led by Abe Shinzō returned to power and quickly countered with its ‘Abenomics,’ sending stock prices soaring. It also resumed its political campaign to ‘break away from the postwar regime,’ giving rise to the amnesic celebration of April 28. ‘Sixty-one years ago today, Japan started to walk with our own strength again. It was the day when Japan regained its sovereignty and Japanese people regained Japan as our own country with the effectuation of the San Francisco Peace Treaty,’ the prime minister’s statement read. ‘What did our grandfathers, grandmothers, fathers, and mothers feel © The Author(s) 2019 K. Hasegawa, Student Radicalism and the Formation of Postwar Japan, New Directions in East Asian History, 1 2   K. HASEGAWA when sovereignty was regained in 1952?’ Characterizing the seven-year occupation as a humiliating blemish on Japan’s long history, he called on every Japanese to ‘deeply think about’ this question. Citing Emperor Hirohito’s poem about resolute perseverance in the face of the foreign occupation which spoke for the Japanese people, the answer was a given: after enduring the unendurable defeat and occupation, they embraced the peace and independence that finally arrived.1 As protests against this effort to enshrine April 28 as the triumphant ‘return’ of Japan on the international stage showed, memories of the heavily contested nature of ‘peace and independence’ at this historic moment remained alive. The anger was especially strong in Okinawa, where the date has been remembered as the ‘day of humiliation’ when the islands were abandoned under US military occupation while mainland Japan regained nominal independence. In 1952, among the protestors in the ‘Bloody May Day’ three days after this ‘day of humiliation’ was a group of Okinawan students marching with a placard reading ‘Immediately return Okinawa, Amami, and Ogasawara islands to Japan. Yankee go home from OKINAWA.’2 On mainland Japan, the idea of April 28, 1952, as the ‘day of humiliation’ was shared by student radicals of Zengakuren (All Japan Federation of Student Governments) and other leftists associated with the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) during the early 1950s. Bloody May Day, 1952 The plaza fronting the Imperial Palace had been transformed into a sacred imperial space during the militarization of the early part of Emperor Hirohito’s reign. Patriotic crowds wept and conducted banzai salutes in the plaza as the supreme military god Emperor Hirohito appeared on his white horse on the bridge above to commemorate victories. When the war ended in defeat, loyal subjects arrived to prostrate themselves to repent for their inadequate efforts. The first official gathering conducted in the space after the defeat was the inauguration ceremony of the Recreation and Amusement Association (RAA), the imperial government’s official brothel for the incoming occupation forces with the sacred mission of protecting the ‘chastity of the race.’ Douglas MacArthur’s General Headquarters (GHQ) soon established itself in the Dai-ichi Life Insurance building overlooking both the plaza and the palace behind it. The ‘dikes of chastity’ of the RAA proved powerless and the formerly sacred space became a ‘space of love’ where occupation soldiers  INTRODUCTION   3 openly engaged in amorous acts with their Japanese girls. Military parades were conducted by the occupation forces and their soldiers and jeeps became fixtures in the area.3 Japanese leftist forces also poured into the space, conducting mass May Day rallies where the rising sun flag was replaced with the red flag, and the ‘Kimigayo’ Imperial national anthem was replaced with the ‘Internationale.’ In contrast to the constant silence of Emperor Hirohito, the raucous leftist rallies were overflowing with words, including calls for the abolition of the emperor system. After a brief period of peaceful coexistence of the occupation forces and Japanese leftist forces, the cancellation of the general strike in February 1947 became a turning point leading to their eventual clash. The term ‘People’s Plaza’ came to be used by the leftist forces to stress their claim to the politically contested space over both the Emperor and the occupation forces.4 Three days after the occupation formally ended, the intensifying conflict between the ruling government seeking to reestablish its control over the plaza and the nation, and the leftist forces seeking to counter such efforts, culminated in a bloody clash that turned the grounds into a battlefield and overshadowed the underwhelming celebrations of ‘peace and independence’ of April 28, 1952. ‘Today the 28th is a day of historical importance….It is the day when Japan emerges from defeat to become independent and start anew,’ the Asahi Shinbun proclaimed in its April 28, 1952, morning issue. At 10:30 PM, the moment the American occupation ended and independence formally restored to the Japanese nation, the national anthem played on radios, temple bells rang through the night, and at the Imperial Palace Plaza, a small crowd of about 20 people shouted ‘Long live the Emperor!’ ‘Long live the Japanese nation!’ Cabarets and bars in Ginza awaited customers with lanterns inviting people to ‘celebrate the peace treaty.’ Some shops prepared large amounts of champagne for the festivities. But there were few celebrators and independence turned out to be a decidedly anticlimactic event. The newspaper described Tokyo at this ‘historic moment’ as ‘quiet beyond expectation.’5 The quiet did not last long. On April 28, 1952, Zengakuren students conducted a ritual wake for Japan’s independence. Ignoring the prohibition of the march by school authorities, students of Tokyo University marched around campus carrying the national flag with mourning crepe, forced open the main gate and welcomed in a group of students from other universities. The flyer distributed at the rally read: 4  K. HASEGAWA We respectfully mourn the loss of Japan’s independence! With the traitorous treaties and administrative agreement, Japan has become a colony. The Japanese people shall never be able to forget this day the 28th. The lives of people are dark, and many women that we love have fallen to become jeep girls. All people are resolved never to forget this day the 28th, the day of humiliation, the day of darkness. We shall fight. We believe the nation’s students will fight for peace instead of becoming slaves and scream ‘voices from the sea.’ We believe that the day of our victory is near. People of the nation. Crush the Anti-Subversive Act of war and subservience! Protect campus self-governance and academic freedom!6 Such virulently anti-American discourse derived from Zengakuren’s ‘anti-­ imperial struggle’ of 1950 that the JCP leadership repeatedly sought to suppress as ‘leftist adventurism’ by petit bourgeois factionalists (see Chap. 3). The JCP later adopted this discourse and paired it with the military struggle of the new platform of 1951, mobilizing Zengakuren students into off-campus operations and alienating them from the Japanese and student masses (see Chap. 4). The widespread Zengakuren protests against the Red Purge in 1950 contrasted sharply with the small scale of campus protests during the following two years, when the San Francisco Peace Treaty and US-Japan Security Treaty were signed and went into effect. The sense of ‘darkness’ and ‘humiliation’ of Zengakuren students as the occupation ended was reinforced by their marginalization and powerlessness at this historically important moment. On the day independence was restored, the Minister of Welfare repeated his prohibition of the use of the Imperial Palace Plaza for the May Day celebrations planned for May 1, defying the court order of the same day nullifying the ban. Denied access to the ‘People’s Plaza,’ the major May Day rally in Tokyo took place within the grounds of the Meiji Shrine. Thousands of people held placards protesting remilitarization, the deterioration of workers’ economic conditions, police intrusion into university campuses, the US retention of Okinawa, and ‘April 28—the Day of National Humiliation.’ As the rally drew to a close, agitators goaded the crowd to continue their march to the forbidden plaza in front of the Imperial Palace. Several groups of demonstrators marched to the palace and entered the plaza. Bloodshed ensued as police violently attacked the crowd with batons, tear gas, and pistols. A young worker and a university student were killed in the clash.  INTRODUCTION   5 Mainstream newspapers such as the Asahi Shinbun provided similar accounts of the event. The May 1 evening edition of the Asahi featured the May Day celebrations, its first page describing a peaceful and festive atmosphere with participants singing workers’ songs, venders selling the previously outlawed Communist newspaper Akahata, others selling ice cream and soda. Like most participants, the Asahi reporters did not foresee the first post-independence May Day turning bloody. On the second page, violence abruptly appeared. The paper reported that illegal demonstrators who marched to the Imperial Palace Plaza without the necessary permission and armed with baseball bats, bamboo spears, and pachinko balls were to blame for the bloodshed. They clashed violently with police who tried to stop the illegal demonstration, broke through the police cordon and forced themselves into the plaza. The police ‘finally’ resorted to violence after orders to disperse were ignored.7 In the following day’s newspaper, a police official explained that the bloodshed occurred because Zengakuren, Koreans, and day laborers among others…trespassed into the Imperial Palace Plaza. The police decided not to stop this trespassing to protect bystanders. We intended to disperse them by force after making them enter. I absolutely did not intend the officers to shoot. The shooting was an unplanned measure taken because officers’ lives were in danger. The front-page editorial of the same day denounced the demonstrators for their ‘extremely regrettable violent behavior.’ The writer’s hope that the first post-independence May Day be held with ‘dignity and restraint befitting an independent nation’ was dashed by a small group of agitators whose violent behavior ‘smeared disgrace on the honor of the Japanese nation’ and cast a shadow on the freedom of political activity by necessitating stricter political controls. Fear of violent extreme leftist elements was reinforced by a small front-page article reporting the start of ‘a mysterious radio broadcast’ spreading Communist propaganda from abroad.8 The historian Tō yama Shigeki wrote an angry critique of the mainstream media’s coverage of the incident in the Tokyo University student newspaper. If a student simply wrote on a history exam that the incident was caused by Zengakuren and Communist agitation without examining the mentality of the May Day participants and the historical conditions that gave rise to it, the student ‘would no doubt get a big “F”.’ The participants were dissatisfied with the subordinate independence coming into effect and fearful of the government’s moves toward political repression and remilitarization epitomized by the closing off of the People’s Plaza. 6   K. HASEGAWA By focusing on the plotting of Communist leaders and branding the ­demonstrators as violent forces bent on destroying democracy, mainstream newspapers were failing miserably to grasp the true significance of the May Day incident. While mainstream media denounced the ‘rioters,’ Tō yama stressed that the police were the instigators of violence. He cited a police official’s statement in a popular magazine revealing that the police knew of the planned confrontation in the plaza beforehand. They effectively lured the demonstrators into the plaza and violently punished the trespassers to avoid property damage and injuries to onlookers. He further cited the same official admitting that the violent police actions during the raid on the Waseda University campus following the May Day incident were ‘a bit too energetic.’ Such words coming out of a police official’s mouth showed that it was the police who were the real ‘rioters.’9 The writer Umezaki Haruo provided another counter-narrative to the mainstream media accounts in the influential progressive journal Sekai. Umezaki described how the armored police guarding the Imperial Palace Plaza offered minimal resistance as exuberant marchers flooded into the forbidden space. Umezaki joined a large group of bystanders outside the plaza’s fence. An old man yelled that the police were coming but the demonstrators inside the plaza were in a festive mood and did not seem to pay attention. And then, the policemen who ran along the right side of the demonstrators raised their batons and rushed the crowd at an angle. I cannot forget the sight of that moment. The heavily armed policemen dared to attack the almost totally unresisting demonstrators (there were many normal citizens among them) with an outrageously violent intensity. In the blink of an eye, there were many men and women bloodied by baton blows to the head rolling around here and there. The baton blows continued, next targeting the midsections of those who were on the ground clutching their heads. The police then stepped over them and chased the fleeing demonstrators. Umezaki heard shots but ‘did not even dream’ that the police was firing live bullets into the crowd. When he saw smoke, he thought the police was warning the crowd with smoke bombs, but soon began to feel the effects of the tear gas and ran for his life. As casualties mounted, nurses started ad hoc field hospitals to treat the wounded. Umezaki heard that police confiscated the driving license of nurses trying to transport the injured to hospitals. ‘What an unreasonable thing to do,’ he fumed. Seeing such ‘anti-human’  INTRODUCTION   7 actions of the police, the bystanders tended to side with the demonstrators as they overturned and lit fires to America...
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