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In modern Japan, where the mechanisms of producing national consensus and social conformity operate with considerable force and efficacy, the democratic credentials of public life are a pressing question. Beginning with the Pacific War and extending through the early 1970s, this issue of positions explores a number of sites in Japan's postwar history where individuals and groups endeavored to reconfigure the social, cultural, and political dimensions of public space and public life. While the collection does not offer comprehensive coverage of all the manifestations of "public" in postwar Japan, it presents a series of "local" studies which, taken together, provide a suggestive map of the contours of the public in postwar Japan.
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