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"Tokyo Komu-uno" 1975 Photobook Japan Women's Lib Protest Commune + Documents


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Various/Unknown Photographers. "Tokyo komuunu no kodomotachi: Seikatsu Shashinshu" - "The Children of Tokyo Commune: Life Photos." Japan: 1975, First Edition, PB, (no dj as issued), 19 cm x 26 cm, 32 pp photobook plus, one 16 pp booklet and 2 leaflets, b/w photos, text in Japanese.

Important Japanese Women's Liberation Movement (Ribu) Documents. Very Rare.

Reference: Setsu SHIGEMATSU, Scream from the Shadows: The Women's Liberation Movement in Japan, pp 19-22 (this book is illustrated on page 22).

Ribu denounced the system that only legitimated giving birth within the confines of the marriage system. Instead, many ribu activists practiced and supported the politics of giving birth outside the family system. They did so in part by refusing to enter the marriage system and establishing communes where women lived with each other to raise their children. Ribu communes were integral to the movement and formed across the country... These collectives were highly practical and ideological. By living together, the women could organize and support each other while they refused to comply with the marriage-family system as a core principle of their feminist politics... A well-known ribu commune in Tokyo, called Tokyo Komu-unu, was established in August 1972 and took its name by abbreviating and combing the words for giving birth and commune (ko umi and komyun). Four ribu women lived together with four children as part of the commune “to search for a new kind of relationality between onna and children.” These ribu activists sought to redefine and create new conditions for raising children that rejected the “sacrificial mother” paradigm that placed all the responsibility on the birth mother... Given the extent to which bloodlines and family lineage have been constitutive of Japan’s social structure and systems of discrimination, the disruption of the ideological and state regulation of motherhood was a stark violation of this patriarchal basis of power. As they lived together from 1972 to 1975, these women organized several “baby-stroller demonstrations” against department stores, Japan Railway, and museums, protesting their policies against the use of strollers. Such a prohibition represented the sociocultural norm that mothers and their infants should remain in the home. The inclusion of children and infants as part of this demonstration characterized the politicization of the family system... Ribu rallied around the subjects of “unwed mothers” (mikon no haha) and conceived the term hikon no haha, which literally means “antimarriage mothers,” or “negation of marriage mothers.”... Ribu’s slogan regarding women’s procreative capacities called for “the creation of a society where we want to give birth,” a position that emphasizes women’s procreative capacities and differs significantly from the “abortion-as-women’s right” approach of many liberal and radical feminists in the United States... Ribu women and their children would face many forms of discrimination, ostracism, and economic disadvantage for refusing to legally marry and have their children within the confines of the family sytem that was documented in the family registration system (koseki).“--Shigematsu

Condition: Good.

Shipping costs: International EMS (express mail service) delivery estimated within 2-4 days - $16.80 (USA), $20.00 (Europe). Shipping weight: approx. 550g.