Skip to Content

Search: {{$root.lsaSearchQuery.q}}, Page {{$}}

CJS Noon Lecture ~ "Fukushima's Victories and Victims: The Fateful Alliance of Japanese Soccer and Nuclear Power"

Thursday, November 3, 2011
4:00 AM
Room 1636, School of Social Work Building, 1080 South University, Ann Arbor

When Japan’s Women’s National soccer team—or “Nadeshiko Japan”—bested the greatly-favored United States team in the World Cup Final in Frankfurt, Germany, it was just one of many “firsts” achieved by the skillful and inspiring team. It was the first time Japan had ever beaten the Americans in a total of twenty-six meetings stretching over two decades. It was also the first World Cup Championship for an Asian soccer team, women’s or men’s. Yet, despite this sense of novelty, much of the National Team’s success was thanks to Japanese corporations’ long-standing sponsorship of a semi-professional domestic women’s soccer league, the “L-League.” Ironically, one of the strongest sponsors of the L-League in recent years has been TEPCO, the company responsible for Fukushima’s ill-fated Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster. This talk will explore the entwined relations and mutually beneficial growth plans pursued by TEPCO and the Japan Football Association since the 1990s, particularly in light of the popular media’s story of the Women’s National Team’s championship and its ability to “heal a nation.”
Elise Edwards (Associate Professor, Anthropology, Butler University)