Narrating Life and Hope
: Social Struggles in Japanese Post-modernity and the Impact of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster
Journal of Philosophy of Life Vol.4, No.1 (January 2014):1-27
In homogenous Japanese society, ‘the meaning of life’ used to be acquired by the completion of the self into an already articulated value. However, contemporary society emptied this value, and the attempt to regain meaning in life sometimes takes the ‘life-denying’ form of violence. This paper explores an alternative way of affirming lives in the practice of the anti-nuclear protesters after the Fukushima disaster. They regret that their indifference in everyday life caused huge damage to others and future generations. That evoked both a sense of incompleteness at the level of the individual self, and of responsibility for ‘life in assemblage’ in which they are connected with other people’s lives. The paper indicates that meaning in life can be acquired not by the completion of the independent self, but by throwing a singular life into a network of lives, interacting one another and changing oneself, others and society.
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