Art & Design

Definitely In My Back Yard: nuclear power and hometown identity in late-twentieth century Japan


17 January 2011, Loncon

Free – booking recommended
A pay bar is available before the lecture
(Please note that Oriental Club rules require gentlemen to wear a jacket and tie)


Nuclear power stations are widely acknowledged to be among the worst of the so-called ‘public bads’—including airports, dams, and incinerators—that central governments impose on local citizens. Indeed, the planned sites of such ‘bads’ are often the focus of Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) protests. Why, then, did a small Japanese town vote, in 1984, to invite the construction of a nuclear power station in its back yard—a plant that, if built, will be the closest nuclear facility to Hiroshima? This paper explores the reasons for such a decision, and the reasons that construction of the power station has still not begun, even in 2011. It will argue that the whole episode reveals a profound crisis of rural identity in post-war Japan—a crisis that offers important new insights to our understanding of modern Japanese history.


Dr Martin Dusinberre graduated with a DPhil in History from the University of Oxford. Currently a Lecturer in Modern Japanese History at Newcastle University, he is also Director of the MA in East Asian History there. His first book, ‘Hard Times in the Hometown: a microhistory of modern Japan’ will be published by the University of Hawai’i Press in 2011.

To reserve your place, please call the Japan Society office on 020 7828 6330 or email .

17th January 2011, 6.45pm

The Garden Room, The Oriental Club

Stratford House, 11 Stratford Place, London W1C 1ES

To reserve your place, please call the Japan Society office or email

Tel: 020 7828 6330.

The Japan Society