History in multiplicity: Locating de certeau’s ‘strategy’ and ‘tactics’ in early postwar Japan

Curtis Anderson Gayle*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In early postwar Japan Marxian historians like Ishimoda Shō and Inoue Kiyoshi utilized history in order to help create the cultural conditions for a socialist revolution. Ordinary Japanese women were important to this project and to Marxian campaigns for social change among the working class during the late 1940s and early 1950s. Local women’s history-writing groups such as the Ehime Women’s History Circle were, conversely, inspired by these historians and shared with them the belief that history writing could become a ‘revolutionary praxis’ to change Japanese society. This article will discuss how, while influenced by Marxian positions on history, the Ehime group nevertheless sought to devise ‘tactics’ by which to distance itself from the larger ‘strategies’ represented by professional historians and institutions. In this respect, the relationship between Marxian approaches and the Ehime Circle reminds us of what Michel de Certeau has, more generally, called ‘tactics’ that both utilize and distinguish themselves from larger institutions and discourses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-228
Number of pages22
JournalJapan Forum
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jul
Externally publishedYes


  • Ehime Women’s History Circle
  • History-writing
  • Inoue Kiyoshi
  • Ishimoda Shō
  • Movement for a People’s History
  • Revolutionary praxis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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