Popular Protest in Post War Japan: The Antiwar Art of Shikoku Gorō

Legacy of Angry Jizo

Like Shikoku, Yamaguchi was already a well-established and experienced antinuclear and antiwar activist by the time she wrote Angry Jizo in the 1970s.  In the 1950s, Yamaguchi engaged in public advocacy for hibakusha, but increasingly became a prominent figure in local and national antiwar and antinuclear groups. She  joined a Hiroshima group “Mothers Against the Bomb” along with other prominent writers such as Kurihara Sadako.
 Yamaguchi stepped forth in 1963 as a leader in the Spiritual Adoption project that provided economic and spiritual support to children orphaned in the atomic bombings. She argued that Japanese people should make their own version of the Occupation-era Moral Adoption project originally spearheaded by American journalist Norman Cousins.

Yamaguchi, Shikoku, and other leftist activists persisted in their leftist and Communist Party affiliations despite attacks by rightest and mainstream politicians and media. In the 1970s, conservative politicians bashed the Japan Teachers Union (Nikkyōso), and public school textbooks that contained antiwar or antinuclear content as leftist or communist-influenced. The Angry Jizo was one of several books harshly criticized.  

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