Oguma Eiji
A New Wave Against the Rock: Social Movements in Japan Since the Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown

September 27, 2016 4:30pm (Film Screening)
September 28, 2016 6:00pm (Keynote)


International House, Assembly Hall
1414 E. 59th St.
Chicago, IL 60637

Eiji OGUMA is a Professor of Policy Management at Keio University in Tokyo. His research covers national identity and nationalism, colonial policy, democracy and social movements in modern Japan from the view of historical sociology. He has earned 6 prizes for his published works in Japan. He has participated and gained credibility in anti-nuke movements in Tokyo after the Fukushima incident. Tell the Prime Minister is his first film in cooperation with many activists and volunteer filmermakers.

This year's Tetsuo Najita Distinguished Lecture is a two-day event featuring the film screening of "Tell the Prime Minister" on Tuesday, September 27th at 4:30 pm and a keynote by Professor Oguma in Japanese with English translation on Wednesday, September 28th at 6:00 pm.  Both events will take place at the Assembly Hall at International House (1414 E. 59th St) and are free and open to the public.

Director's Notes on "Tell the Prime Minister"

  • This is a documentary film on anti-nuclear movement after Fukushima nuclear disaster on March 11th 2011 in Japan. This film is composed of interviews with eight individuals and footage which were shot by ordinal citizens and uploaded in internet at that time. 
  • The eight interviewees are four males and four females. Four mails are the Prime Minister at that time, a young entrepreneur, a hospital worker, an anarchist. Four females are an evacuee from Fukushima, a shop clerk, an illustrator, and a Dutch businessperson.
  • These people represent diversity and change of Japanese society. Japan have been suffered from stagnation of economy, increase of unstable jobs, dysfunction of political system, and rise of right wings. However, is this the common situation in the world?
  • You will find many activists in this film are people who are highly educated but could not get stable jobs. They utilized their resources to change the situation. They used their skills and knowledges on IT, illustration, PA system, and music to activate the movement. And they mobilized 200,000 people in front of Prime Minister Office in the summer of 2012.
  • This is a film which has recorded reincarnation of democracy in a society. You will find how people felt strong fear in the nuclear disaster, how they were disappointed and depressed, and how they revived their power, and finally succeeded to meet with the prime minister and tell their will to him.
  • This is a story of reincarnation of people at the crisis.
  • Total running time is 109 minutes.