井の中の蛙

12/22/2007

佐々木啓 – 戦時期日本における国民徴用援護事業の展開過程

Filed under: — K. M. Lawson @ 5:35 pm

I just saw the table of contents for the December issue of 『歴史学研究』 and noticed that Frog in a Well contributor Sasaki Kei (see his postings here) has published an essay on his research on wartime labor conscription in Japan.

I am away from libraries where I can read the article at the moment but here is the English abstract available online:

The Development of Labor Conscription Support Projects in Japan during the Asian Pacific War: A Study of National Integration

This paper examines an aspect of national integration in Japan during the Asian-Pacific War through an analysis of the development of labor conscription support projects. Prior research on wartime Japanese society has mainly focused on cultural and welfare movements, or local communities. However, few of them have paid attention to the labor conscription system, which is very important to understand Japan’s total war system.

Firstly, this article establishes that national support projects for the conscripted people and their families were developed in various ways and on a wide scale from the middle of 1943. Though prior research has emphasized the irrationality of the system of labor conscription, we demonstrate that it actually based on an elaborate mechanism.

Secondly, we examine the realities of labor conscription support projects in Osaka Prefecture, where social workers (homen iin) appointed to the Conscripts Consultation Committee (Ochoshi sodan iin) mainly engaged in the projects, and explore the various aspects of interaction between the support projects with the populace. The “effects” of support projects did not necessarily coincide with what the state intended, and the projects served as a medium for the people to achieve their demands.

10/20/2004

Halting Speeches

Filed under: — K. M. Lawson @ 9:14 am

I will continue to post the odd passage I find here and there during my reading that I find particularly memorable. In Andrew Gordon‘s Labor and Imperial Democracy in Prewar Japan there is an interesting section where he lists phrases from 15 speeches (out of 22 total) made at one rally of the Sôdômei’s Electric and Machine Worker’s Union that were halted by the police who attended. The final phrases show nicely what kinds of words specifically brought action:

1. Capitalists are…[halted]
2. We workers first must destroy…[halted]
3. The only course is to build the road to freedom with our own strength…[halted]
4. We have absolutely no freedom. At dawn I had a dream. I was advancing down the road to freedom carrying a sword, when I fell into a deep crevice. This is a crevice that captures those who speak the truth…[halted]
5. It is just too irrational for members of our own class [i.e., the police] to stand above us and repress us…[halted]
6. As Lenin said, “Those who do not work will not eat…[halted]
7. To discover how, and with what, to destroy this system is our objective…[halted]
8. In order to live we must finally destroy the present system…[halted]
9. Together with all of you, I will devote all my strength to the destruction of everything…[halted]
10. We must destroy capitalism…[halted]
11. In order to live we must attack capitalism at its roots; we must entirely destroy the existing social order…[halted]
12. One after another the speakers have been unjustly halted…[halted]
13. We must struggle against those who oppose us…[halted]
14. For example, a revolution…[halted]
15. The labor movement must move to end the plunder of capitalists…[halted] (136)

The phrases translated from a 1921 report cited in Gordon’s footnotes. Gordon has noted in italics the final words in the original Japanese phrasing of each speech.

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