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2007年7月 8日 (日)

Tokyo in 1967 - the combustion point

Tokyo in 1967 - the combustion point

Japanese Student Movement in the Sixties ;
from Zengakuren to Zenkyoto ( The Student Left in Japan )

from the Rolling Stone mag article ; " Tokyo in 1967 "

The image of students in Tokyo getting high on imported birdseed doesn't jump to the fore.
"The simplest way for people to get marijuana was in pet stores," recalls Koji Takazawa ( 高沢皓司 ), a leader of Zenkyoto, an alliance of Japanese student movements in the 60s. "There were hemp seeds in the birdseed, so people bought the birdseed and grew their own marijuana."

Japanese Psychedelic Hippie ( フーテン族 ) in Shinjuku 1967

In the West, little is known about Japanese youth movements of the 1960s, but the Zenkyoto, Zengakuren, and other movements were hugely popular in Japan, protesting Japanese involvement in the Vietnam War, spurring interest in Western music and art, and calling a generation to action, as parallel movement did around the world.The student movement began to mobilize in 1960, when the Japan-US Joint Security Treaty was signed and thousands of University students took to the streets in protest.

Protest against the Japan-US Security Treaty in 1960

In the following years, protests grew louder and angrier, as the military campaigns escalated. "1967 was the year the student campaign really escalated," says Takazawa. "A student was killed in a conflict with riot police and as a result, there was a huge outcry and a big wave of protest." From 1967 to 1970, students at 167 Japanese universities went on strike as part of the Zenkyoto movement.

Protest against PM Eisaku Sato at Haneda Airport in 1967

Zenkyoto Movement in 1968

Zenkyoto Movement in 1969

Yukio Mishima and Zenkyoto @ University of Tokyo in 1969

"Some years later, nearly all the popular musicians in Japan had come out of that cultural stream," says Takazawa, who says members of the 60s youth movements used the Japanese cartooning tradition, Manga, in their posters and art, transforming it into the cultural force it has become.

Les Rallizes Denudes ( 裸のラリーズ )
In 1970, Les Rallizes Denudes member Wakabayashi was involved to some degree in the hijacking of a Boeing 727 orchestrated by the Japanese Red Army. Singer Takashi Mizutani was allegedly offered a role in the hijacking but turned it down.

Red Army Fraction hijacking of a Boeing 727 named "Yodo" on 31th Mar.1970

Les Rallizes Denudes - " The Night of Assassin "

Shinji Nagashima ( 永島慎二 ) - notable manga artist during zenkyoto era

  some more videos of Japanese Student Movement on YouTube
(click the logo to load the playlist)


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