Tessa Morris-Suzuki traveled to Japan for research in May to June, and again briefly on her way home from conferences in Europe in July. Her visits allowed her to extend and deepen her research on grassroots “living politics” in the Chikuma River valley region of Nagano Prefecture. Here she met and interviewed farmers who were involved in the region’s social education movement in the 1960s and 1970s, and have gone on to lead struggles against industrial pollution and to devise plans for sustainable endogenous development. She also spoke to residents of Ueda City who have developed a vibrant local currency scheme in the area, and are currently completing the refurbishment of an old building for use as a community centre. After visiting Nagano Prefecture, she travelled to Hokkaido to interview participants in grassroots local history-writing and historical reconciliation groups in Kitami and Shumarinai. (see photos)

Members of the local currency group “Ma~yu” in Ueda explaining their community centre project.
Minnano Ie
The “Ma~yu” group’s community centre “Mina no Ie” (“Everybody’s House”)
Preparations for a reconciliation ceremony to commemorate Korean forced labourers brought to Japan during the Asia-Pacific War, Shumarinai, Hokkaido
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