Posted by debito on May 16th, 2007
Hi Blog. Here is a recently-added series of YouTube videos about the Right Wing (Uyoku) in Japan. It’s an hourlong TV show for broadcast on the commercial networks (meaning five 10-minute parts) put online by a Japanese (who by his YouTube record is archiving a lot of visual history).
The show was produced by Fuji TV. It has a somewhat sympatheic bent towards the Uyoku (i.e. the interviewers even get rides inside the soundtrucks, and they depict the rival Sayoku (Extreme Left–in this case only the Chuukakuha is mentioned) as monolithic, militant, and unclear in ideology). I still found it a fascinating insight into the people behind the black windows and steering wheels of the sound trucks.
It’s not made clear when this show was broadcast (it mentions twenty years since Mishima Yukio’s suicide, the recent institution of the Heisei Emperor, and the collapse of Soviet Communism creating a loss of mission for the Uyoku), so let’s say the early 1990′s. Given we are now in Heisei 19 it may be a bit dated.
It opens with a branch of Uyoku lecturing NJ in Roppongi on how to behave in Japan (even if they’re saying “Obey Our Laws, Gaijin”, not “Yankee Go Home” sorts of things, I still find this attitude quite rich…). As this show was filmed long before official GOJ campaigns to depict and target foreigners as criminals, it’s not clear how the Uyoku would behave in the same situation nowadays.
The archiver also insinuates (below) that most people (especially the “gaijin”) are uninformed, in that the Uyoku are somehow misunderstood as “militant racists”. But this show hardly sets the record straight for me; it remains clear that even with all the splinter groups, the common thread is still deification of the Emperor, purity as ideology, and having all Japanese share a common mindset of birthright. Given that I saw the Dai Nippon Aikoku Tou speak yesterday in Odori Park, Sapporo, for more than an hour by their big blue bus (slogan on the back: “Give us back Karafuto [Sakhalin] and Chishima Rettou [the Kuriles]” (i.e. not just the Northern Territories), it’s not clear how they would treat the racially-separate peoples on those islands (or within Japan itself, given all the children of international marriages with Japanese citizenship). I remain doubtful that they would be accepting, which by definition would lead to militant racism.
In sum: As I believe Japan is lurching rightward in recent years, this is worthy of a viewing to get an idea what the extreme version wants. In Japanese with very good English subtitles. Somebody put a lot of work into making this series accessible to the outside world. Arudou Debito in Sapporo
Here is the write-up on the series from the person who YouTubed the series:
Added May 09, 2007
1990-The Uyoku are a flamboyant, more hard line faction of Japan’s Right Wing Movement. NOT to be confused with the traditional, regular right wing conservatives.
Also note that the Uyoku is not a single united entity, rather there are many factions voicing many opinions on almost all issues. Some uninformed Japanese and almost all gaijin will just see the surface of the movement and assume they are all militant racists.
This documentary covers the various factions of Uyoku, and their transition from a united front of Anti Communism as Communism dies out, to a shaky future without a ultimate goal. What is the new path for the Uyoku?
Kodo (Action) Uyoku——————————-
We see the Great Japanese Vermillion Light Association, who looks for a new objective. They believe that the Uyoku should change from a feared organization with a violent gangster stereotype to one that is loved by the people. They have taken up the environment as their primary concern, and voice that they are a Human Rights Organization.
Ninkyo (Yakuza) Uyoku—————————–
We see the Japan Youth Society, backed by the Sumiyoshi Yakuza Family. We see that the Yakuza Culture is a Culture of itself. This group may possibly have the strongest mobilization and manpower of them all. They are guided by the old code of gangster honor, and they are not afraid to let anyone know that.
New Uyoku———————————– ——
Characterized by Writer Mishima Yukio, who slit his stomach and had his comrade behead him after a failed coup. The New Uyoku Group we meet, The Issui-Kai (One Water Association) wears casual clothing, appeals to the youth and has a new philosophy of Anti Americanism through popular culture – manga, punk rock etc. The Anti-Americanism directly conflicts with the Original Uyoku, who are very much Pro-American.
Original Uyoku———————————– -
After Senator Akao Bin passed away, his Great Japanese Patriotic Party still lives on. Its members still continue the Anti Communist Stance, “Until it completely dies out.” They lead a humble lifestyle, supported by a small but loyal following. They do not seem to be changing anytime soon.
The Great Japanese Patriotic Union’s leader Asanuma Michio is a hard core old school Uyoku to the end. He firmly still believes that terrorism is right, and that one day a Japan with the Imperial Majesty as the leader will be constructed.
All-Japan Patriot’s Conference Chairman of the Board of Directors Kishimoto Rikio is another old school Uyoku, from before the war. A staunch Shintoist, he seems to be more of a religious old man than a gangster or a fanatic. He seems to not believe in taking over the nation, or making Japan Uyoku. He sees Japan as already having changed too much, that possibly he and his movement are a product of a different time.
Westernized (?) Uyoku—————————–
Nationalist Philospher Nomura served 17 years in the penitentiary for various violent political crimes. Now, he is seen as the leading spokesperson for the Uyoku. Media friendly and immaculately dressed not in Traditional Japanese clothing but in Italian Fashion, he may be the New Face of a Laid back, Informal, Westernized Uyoku.
What is the new path for the Uyoku?
Japanese Uyoku 1
Japanese Uyoku 2
Japanese Uyoku 3
Japanese Uyoku 4
Japanese Uyoku 5