Analysis Of ANPO, Art X War

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In his letter to Captain Butler regard to the sack of the Summer Palace, Victor Hugo writes that “Governments are sometimes bandits, peoples never”. This is my impression after watching Hoaglund’s ANPO, Art X War: The Art of Resistance and Mikami’s We Shall Overcome. Some of my grandparents’ families died in the Second Sino-Japanese War, my grandparents have always been hostile to Japanese. These two movies strike me that when we talk about politics, it is necessary to distinguish the people from the nation. While in China there are many protesters against Japan, in Japan there are dissenters of Japanese government, too: in ANPO, Art X War: The Art of Resistance, using their art, artists protest against the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and…show more content…
First, the solidarity of protesters does not equal to the solidarity of Japan. As the title of the film ANPO, Art X War: The Art of Resistance suggests, art is a powerful tool to resist war. While the title probably means painters like Ishii Shigeo use art to reflect upon the past and to express his opposition, the movie as a whole also suggests that a medium film is also a great way to resist war. Just as in other medium such as paintings and novels, a movie cannot reflect all perspectives and hence is more or less biased. In ANPO, Art X War: The Art of Resistance, one speaker says “the people in those huge crowds were all there for different reasons, but the huge uniting theme was: We will not go back to war” (Hoaglund). In We Shall Overcome, residents of Okinawa seem to be united, too. In order to stop trunks that transport materials for the construction of the new US military base, protestors lay down down on the road in a line, holding the previous ones’ feet with their hands. As one of the protestors says, “[they] chose identity over ideology. United [they]’ll accomplish [their] goal!” (Mikami) Although ANPO, Art X War: The Art of Resistance and We Shall Overcome feature lots of activists who oppose war, that does not mean that the majority of the population in Japan are against war and the construction of the US military base. In fact, according to…show more content…
However, I think the motive is important when we consider Japan’s territorial disputes with Korea and China. In his article “Territorial disputes with Korea and China — Small islets, enduring conflicts”, Selden suggests that Japan’s territorial disputes can best be solved by compromises among involved nations. However, Selden also observes, “Koreans’ deep resentment and an identity politics rooted in anti-Japanese nationalism, represent a significant barrier to accommodation” (357), not to mention China and Japan. In the latter case, “the official and popular discourse in China (PRC and Taiwan) and Japan is driven by nationalistic impulses that tend to marginalize proponents of strategic compromise”

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