Reflections on a database • データベースに関して

Written by Kei

Compiling a database was just putting into fruition Lei’s original call for COMMU as an informational hub for resources. The database that you see now is an extension of what Sophia began last year as a loose tally of all the Black Lives Matter-related resources, allies, and communities in Japan.

Credit is very much due to existing mutual aid lists by other people (one of them is The Radical Database), but specifically to Black and indigenous communities whom have engaged in mutual aid support long before any of us recognized it as such.  

The tricky thing with cataloguing information like this is that it reduces individuals and causes into singularities when we know the expansive ways in which all of these issues of class, race, sex, and gender intersect. One example was the topic of “comfort women”. Does it go under “Gender (sexual violence)”? Or under “History (imperialism & colonialism)? (the answer is both) There are also activists, scholars, and individuals on this list whom advocate for an equal society through a variety of causes. This is why there are some entries listed with multiple categories because separating them seemed reductive.

In the last year when so many societal issues were exacerbated at once, social media has made us especially think, “why is no one talking about this???” whenever a new headline hits. Those of us who have crossed borders across & into this country are familiar with the feeling that anything outside of Japan feels distant. This is where I hope a database like this can help remind us that there are (and always have been) people and organizations out there fighting for the same things. There are people mobilizing all across Japan and across the Japanese diaspora. I also hope that some of the resources will help continue our learning beyond what we see on social media. Our individual education on these issues in the world and in Japan cannot end with a post on Instagram. 

In case it needed to be said, I want to be explicitly clear that this is advocating for a society where human rights and resources are a given regardless of anyone’s race, class, gender, sexuality, disability, and what have you. It is not for anyone to decide someone else’s humanity. The future is in us, in our fluid and bountless nature, in acknowledging and accounting for our violent, colonial, imperial past (and present), undoing generational trauma, and fighting for one another despite the discomfort and pain, against the current devastation of our planet and each other. 





Cargo Collective COMMU 2021 (USA, JAPAN)