What is Mottainai?

Kunimoto Namiko, “Olympic Dissent: Art, Politics, and the Tokyo Olympic Games of 1964 and 2020” Asia Pacific Journal: Japan Focus Volume 16 | Issue 15 | Number 2 (August 1, 2018)

Article ID 5180 https://apjjf.org/2018/15/Kunimoto.html

1. What is the “dokken kokka” and what is Nakamura’s critique of it?

2. How does that critique relate to the 1964 Olympics?

3. Takayama Akira organized a tour in 2007. Where did that tour go? What did they do in Harajuku?

4. Who is Makoto, and what is he worried about?

Read Koide Hiroaki and Norma Field, “The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster and the Tokyo Olympics,” Asia Pacific Journal: Japan Focus Volume 17 | Issue 5 | Number 3 (March 1, 2019)

Article ID 5256

1. How much more radiation was released into the environment in Fukushima than in Hiroshima?

2. What is the problem with the “melted core” that makes it particularly hard to deal with? (In your answer, you should consider humans, robots, and the current location of the core.)

3. What does Koide think is the only solution to the problem?

4. How long does Koide assume that the protection of the cite needs to last?

5. What did the government do in March of 2017? (Include in your answer, what happened to housing assistance? And what conditions people were told to live under.) 

Read Siniawer, Eiko Maruko. “Meaning and Value in the Everyday,” from her Waste: Consuming Postwar Japan, Cornell University Press, 2018. This is the introduction to a book about Japan’s trash, and what Japan wastes.
1. What is Mottainai?

2. What are the different ways of thinking about waste?

3. What class do most people in Japan identify with?

4. What are the gendered ways that the government communicates about waste? Who is assumed to be associated with which place, and what kind of waste?

5. What is the complication to the idea of the “lost” decades that the author proposes? 

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