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Our Unions, Our SelvesThe Rise of Feminist Labor Unions in Japan$
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Anne Zacharias-Walsh

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501703041

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501703041.001.0001

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Crisis of Difference

Crisis of Difference

(p.108) 6 Crisis of Difference
Our Unions, Our Selves

Anne Zacharias-Walsh

Cornell University Press

This chapter reports on the second meeting of the US–Japan Working Women's Networks Project, when U.S. educators came to Tokyo to model participatory education techniques as a first step toward enabling Japanese women's groups to create their own educational programs. Representatives from the expanding pool of participating women's organizations met at Waseda University for a national two-day seminar to begin choosing the topics for their first three educational modules. The Waseda meeting was run entirely by the Japanese activists. This chapter first explains the purpose and organization of Workshop II before discussing the tensions that arose among some of the participants. It also considers the important lessons learned from the conflict about differences in how U.S. and Japanese labor-feminists think about organizing, empowerment, and individualism. It shows how participants, in trying to work through the tensions, gained valuable knowledge about what it takes to create and maintain successful crossborder collaboration.

Keywords:   participatory education, US–Japan Working Women's Networks Project, Japan, women's organizations, Workshop II, organizing, empowerment, individualism, crossborder collaboration

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