Kohei Usuda


By Kohei Usuda Last February, Ikuko Ishida filed a civil lawsuit at the Tokyo District Court against the city of Sapporo and her former teacher, seeking damages for severe psychological trauma. She claims it’s the result of years of sexual abuse she endured as a schoolgirl. Now, decades after the agony, she’s asking for justice. For Ikuko Ishida, the ordeal began on the day before her junior high school graduation ceremony. On that snowy below-freezing day in the middle of March, more than two decades ago, young Ikuko, then a student in the northern city of Sapporo, Hokkaido, had been invited by one of her schoolteachers to accompany him to …

性被害の損害賠償を求め、石田郁子氏が提訴 もっと読む »

Women’s Football – the New Battleground for Gender Equality

By Kohei Usuda In recent months, football has become an intense battleground for gender equality. In Japan, examples are numerous, too. But female players, such as Ami Otaki, don’t hesitate anymore to raise their voice. Earlier this month, Australia’s women’s national team clinched what the BBC heralded as a “historic deal.” Football Federation Australia agreed to a commercial revenue sharing arrangement between men’s and women’s teams, effectively guaranteeing equal pay across the board.  Despite positive stories like these, deep-seated institutionalized sexism pervades over the world’s most popular sport. At this summer’s Women’s World Cup in France, for example, players of chronically underfunded sides like Argentina characterized their participation in the …

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Flower Demo, A Catharsis for Sexual Assault Survivors

And Kiyoka As night fell on August 11, about 150 people assembled at Gyoko-Dori Avenue near Tokyo Station to protest against a series of rape cases that ended in non-guilty verdicts. Since its inaugural demonstration in April, the Flower Demoーinitiated by feminist activists Minori Kitahara, Eiko Tabusa and Akiko Matsuo, and held on the 11th day of each monthーhas expanded to 18 cities nationwide and continues to evolve into a larger social movement in Japan.  At the Flower Demo, participants are given the stage to speak up about their experiences of sexual assault. Akiko Matsuo (pictured above), the feminist publisher of etc.magazine and one of the core organizers of the Flower Demo, …

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