This week, we look at the contentious summer of 1960, in which the disputes of postwar Japan boiled over into some of the most intense protests in the country’s history. How do these conflicts shape modern Japanese society?

Sources

MIT’s Visualizing Cultures program has a great section on Anpo.

Kishi Nobusuke’s obituary in the NYT, from 1987.

Williams, Andrew. Dissenting Japan.

Sasaki-Uemura, Wesley. Organizing the Spontaneous: Citizen Protest in Postwar Japan.

The Pacific Century has an excellent documentary on this subject (though a bit dated) called Inside Japan Inc

Images

Kishi being booked into Sugamo Prison for trial as a war criminal. He would eventually be released without trial.

Kishi and Eisenhower golfing during Kishi’s first US visit in 1957.

This shot really gives you a sense of the scale of the protests.

Protestors from all walks of life (in this case, a teacher’s union) joined the protests.

These protesters came from Shizuoka, clean on the other end of Japan.

Protesters storm the south gate of the Diet on June 15. This is the day Kanba Michiko would die.

Kanba Michiko became a rallying cry for the protests after her death. The banner behind her photo here states the resolve of the protesters to fight harder in the wake of her death.

The Speaker of the House being muscled to the rostrum for a vote on the treaty. Confrontations between socialists and LDP members got VERY violent over the course of the treaty debates.

A Chinese political cartoon from the People’s Daily. The Japanese protester at left holds a sign saying, “Oppose the security treaty, down with Kishi, dissolve the Diet.” The Chinese protester’s sign says, “Oppose the US-Japan Security Treaty, support the struggle of the Japanese people.”