Iijima Aiko (1932–2005): A Feminist’s Fight Against Discrimination in Japan

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Iijima Aiko was a Japanese feminist activist who co-founded, with critic Matsuoka Yōko (1916–1979), the “Committee of Asian Women Who Fight Discrimination=Aggression (Committee of Asian Women)” (1970–1980), a group considered to have been the forerunner of Japan’s second wave women’s liberation movement. The Committee of Asian Women attempted to critique and diminish the gender-based discrimination against women and a more global kind of discrimination and aggression fueled by imperial ambitions and racism. This included both Japan’s past imperialist aggression in Asia (specifically in the years 1931–1945) and America’s wars in Asia against Korea and Vietnam. The symbol“=”in between “discrimination” and “aggression” symbolized the group’s belief that discrimination was a form of aggression, and that aggression was a form of discrimination. The group faced a crisis in 1975 and officially dissolved in 1980. Iijima’s desire to simultaneously work on women’s liberation and socio-political reform resulted from her earlier experience as a member of the Japanese Communist Party (JCP), which she joined in 1949.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Communist Women Activists around the World
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9783031131271
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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