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Pandemic and Underground Fluctuation: Reflection from a Small Corner of Japan

‘ºã Œ‰iMURAKAMI Kiyoshij
April 20, 2020

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This text was written to contribute to the compilation zine g (TBA) h.


As you may know, Japan has been in middle of spread of infection of COVID-19 too.
Then, we can find familiar sights everywhere in the media and society as well as other countries.
EVictim bashing
EExploitation of healthcare professionals
EVerbal abuse against nurses
EDiscrimination against immigrants, sex workers and homeless people
EStrengthening of policing
In addition, the following points are salient issues.
ELack of support for sole proprietors, artists and precarious workers
EIneffectuality of existing trade unions
EDisdain for meaning of existence/work of care workers
EAbsence of healthcare community different from medical system
EDisregard of mothers' overload

Central and local governments put the maintenance of corporate activity above people's lives.
Not a few people are still obliged to commute to work by (crowded) train for a living.
Everyone is sensitive to the coverage of the media and is clouded with a confused prospect that include both optimism and pessimism.
The society is becoming aggressive and helping strengthen the control competence of government.

However, there is no need to despair and become cynical.
Resonances are going on underground although there is no obvious (political) activity yet.
Veins of grassroots mutual-aid community are formed invisibly.
It is similar to the situation after the Great East Japan Earthquake (and the corresponding nuclear accident), and current state is an extension of it.

People who centrically develop the resonances are in marginalized positions, such as housewives, single mothers, disabled people, sex workers, care workers, public assistance recipients, needy students, immigrants.
They have (multiple/intersectional) vulnerability and been oppressed even in "regular" life not because "crisis".

Therefore, their minds show up with existential/fundamental challenges than just the typal criticism of the administration.
If we can find out the air of revolution in Japanese society now, that is the hidden veins which contain inarticulate/nameless cry, anger and empathy.

Their connection and cooperation will make progress locally and globally.
We must witness the next phase of essential mutual-aid then.


–ì¬F‘ºã Œ‰iMURAKAMI Kiyoshij
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