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The Courage of Our Convictions: Young Female Activists in Japan Defying the Social Norm
- Wakako Fukuda (Former SEALDs activist & founder of I AM)
- Voice Up Japan (International Christian University students)
- Tricia Euvrard (Co-founder of Uprizine)
The word “activism,” has come with a bitter aftertaste for many in Japan. Since the counter-culture ANPO Riots in the 60’s, the image surrounding student protests has had a largely negative connotation attached to it. However, the emergence of the Student Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy (SEALDs) has flipped the image of student activism into the mainstream. Seemingly since then, the outspokenness of young people in Japan, particularly women, have been pushed into the spotlight. In Japanese society, where individuality is many times already a punishable offense, going against these social norms while being a woman carries with it the possibility of exclusion and public censor characteristic of “blaming the victim.”
In this panel, young activists will discuss the work they have been doing, the ways in which they aim to mobilize populations, and the changes they feel have been made to their communities as a result.
The panel will include discussion by Wakako Fukuda, one of the core members of SEALDs and her continued activism with I AM; the “Voice Up Japan” team responsible for the recent uprising against the tabloid magazine Weekly SPA! that ranked universities in order of how “sexually easy” their female students are; to Tricia Euvrard, speaking on more in-house issues regarding fighting for Temple University Japan’s development of Title IX resources for survivors of sexual violence.
Activism is far from being an abstract subject matter for these young panelists. Together, they will talk about their passion, struggles, backlash, and answer the question everyone can’t help but ask: is putting your face forward for social justice really worth it?
Former SEALDs activist & founder of I AM
Wakako Fukuda is a Japanese writer and activist, as well as a former member of SEALDs (2015-2016). Although the experience she had while being politically active as a young woman in Japan was not always positive, it made her the feminist that she is today. After SEALDs disbanded, Fukuda moved to Germany for 2 years before coming back to Japan in 2018. She founded the group ‘I AM’ and co-hosted a rally against sexual harassment in April 2018. As a writer, her most recent article is in the i-D Japan Female Gaze issue. She has written for many other JP magazines, and also self publishes zines.
Voice Up Japan
International Christian University students
Voice Up Japan is an organization founded by Kazuna Yamamoto, that advocates for gender equality in Japan– its goal being to create a more comfortable environment to “voice up” in.
Asaki Takahashi is a senior at International Christian University. She double majors in Physics and Sociology. Takahashi was born and raised in New Jersey and studied abroad at the College of Wooster for a semester while at ICU.
Ryo Tsujioka is a senior at International Christian University. She is a Sociology major and Gender Studies minor. Tsujioka lived in U.K. for five years and studied abroad at SUNY Buffalo for a year.
Co-founder of Uprizine
Tricia Euvrard is an undergraduate Political Science student at Temple University Japan. Euvrard is French-Vietnamese and spent part of her childhood living in India. She co-founded the intersectional feminist magazine and activist organization UPRIZINE (a play on words of uprising and magazine) in October 2017. She is interested in developing resources and support for survivors of sexual and interpersonal violence and aspires to pursue a career in law.