Hanamori Yasuji & the Politics of Everyday Life in Postwar Democracy

Tuesday, February 11, 2014
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
UCLA Young Research Library
11348 Presentation Room

Hanamori Yasuji (1911-1978) was the founding editor of "Kurashi no Techo (Notebook of Everyday Life)," one of the most famous magazines for women in postwar Japan. It covered various topics related to people’s ordinary life such as clothing, cooking, housing, and so on. Not only being an editor, Hanamori was also a critic of the contemporary social issues as an intellectual who grew up under the rise of fascism, went to China as a soldier, and worked for Taisei Yokusankai (Imperial Rule Assistance Association) during the war. In this paper, Prof. Kasai will examine how Yasuji’s conception of 'kurashi' (everyday life) took shape based on his understanding of modern nation-state and democracy, by focusing on his texts he wrote about such questions as the relationship between the individual and the state, memories of the war, rationalization of everyday life, and the contemporary pollution issues. What kind of political imagination was at work? How does it relate to the post 3.11 discursive situation in Japan?

Professor Kasai's talk will be held in a workshop format. His paper will be circulated prior to his visit and we will have about 20 minutes for his talk and an hour for Q and A. The paper will be prepared in Japanese, but he will give a talk and answer questions in English.

Professor Hirotaka Kasai teaches political theory and cultural and intellectual history at Tsuda Women's College in Tokyo. He has written extensively on democratic theory, cultural studies, and postwar Japan. He is also the translator of J.V. Koschmann's Revolution and Subjectivity in Postwar Japan (Heibonsha, Tokyo) and Mouffe and LacLau's Democratic Paradox (Ibunsha, Tokyo). 

*Lunch will be served first come first served*




Sponsor(s): Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies

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