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

Members of Our Poems Circle

The young Our Poems members in this photograph show their optimism for the new Japan, as they march on May Day 1950 for justice and democracy. Despite their cheerful faces, they had already faced significant challenges during wartime and Occupation. Hayashi Sachiko lost her parents and only sibling in the atom bombing. Three members were recently fired from their jobs during the purge of Leftists. Shikoku Gorō survived the army but then spent 3 years in a POW camp in the Soviet Union. Why did these young people believe that Our Poems poetry & journal could contribute to making Japan a more just society?

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