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International group of scholars discuss Japanese protests

In 1968 Japan was shocked by student protests and even today, exactly fifty years later, their effects can still be felt. An interdisciplinary group of researchers recently met to discuss them at Leiden University.

The five-day workshop was an initiative of Maja Vodopivec, a researcher at Leiden University College in The Hague. It was attended by around twenty scholars – including some from Japan – and one of the topics discussed was how the historic events in 1968 were connected with those around them. After all, in 1968 protests took place not only in Japan but also in Paris and Prague. 

The researchers looked particularly at the relationship between words and violence. What was written and said about the uprising in Japan? And what words were used to extenuate the suppression of the protests? These and other questions were examined from the perspective of different disciplines during the conference. 

The event has been sponsored by the Isaac Alfred Ailion Foundation, The Japan Foundation, Leiden University Fund - Dr. C.L. van Steeden Fonds, and Leiden University College.

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