Chelsea Schieder on Comfort Women denialism, the Japanese Right, the Asia-Pacific, and Coed Revolution


Hi all:

Today’s episode is a conversation with Andy’s friend and classmate Chelsea Szendi Schieder, historian of Japan at Aoyama Gakuin University (Tokyo). 

Chelsea was involved in compiling the empirical case against Comfort Women denialism, which we covered in an episode back in February. She’s now also written a reflection piece on the experience for The Nation.

We talk more about Comfort Women denialism, the Japanese online right (netto uyoku ネット右翼), and the history and present state of Japanese studies and east Asia geopolitics. How did the U.S. encumber a reckoning with the Japanese empire? How are Comfort Women and the war in China (1937-1945) taught in Japan today? How do these issues reflect shifting power struggles between Japan, Korea, China, and the rest of Asia? 

We then talk about Chelsea’s recently released book Coed Revolution, focusing on the role of women students in Japan’s “new left” but also asking questions about the legacy of the “new left” and its place in the pivotal 1970s/80s transformation of politics and society, in Japan and around the world. 

Also: Japan’s COVID and vaccine situation and “why the f-ck” are we still holding the Tokyo Olympics this year?

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