Children Mei Shigenobu
|Education Meiji University|
Name Fusako Shigenobu
|Born September 28, 1945 (age 70) (1945-09-28) Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan|
Similar People Mei Shigenobu, Hiroko Nagata, Kozo Okamoto, Ulrike Meinhof, Biljana Plavsic
Political party Japanese Red Army
Pablo has l fusako shigenobu
- Pablo has l fusako shigenobu
- The anabasis of may and fusako shigenobu masao adachi and the 27 years without images trailer
- Early life
- Involvement in the student movement
- Japan Red Army
- In popular culture
The anabasis of may and fusako shigenobu masao adachi and the 27 years without images trailer
Shigenobu was born on September 28, 1945 in the Setagaya ward of Tokyo. Her father was a teacher at a terakoya or temple school (寺子屋 terakoya) open for poor village children at temples in the south Japanese Kyushu region after World War I. He later became a major in the Imperial Japanese Army dispatched to Manchuria, which was under Japanese control before and during World War II.
Involvement in the student movement
Shigenobu attended Meiji University receiving a BA in Political Economy and in History. She joined the student movement that was protesting the increase of tuition fees, and this led her to activism in the leftist student movement of the 1960s. She rose up the ranks of the movement to become one of its top leaders.
Japan Red Army
In February 1971, she and Tsuyoshi Okudaira went to the Middle East to create international branches of the Japanese Red Army. Upon arrival, she soon split with the Red Army Faction in Japan due to both geographical and ideological distance, as well as a personal conflict with the new leader, Tsuneo Mori. The Red Army went on to link up with the Maoist Revolutionary Left Wing of the Japanese Communist Party to form the United Red Army. Upon hearing about the internal purge the United Red Army carried out in the winter of 1971-1972, Shigenobu recalls her shock and sorrow. She and Okudaira wrote My Love, My Revolution (わが愛わが革命) as a response.
Shigenobu remained in the Middle East for more than 30 years. Her move was part of International Revolutionary Solidarity, with the idea that revolutionary movements should cooperate and eventually lead to a global socialist revolution. Her destination was Lebanon, and her aim was to support the Palestinian cause. She originally joined the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) as a volunteer, but eventually the JRA became an independent group. She mentions in several of her books "The mission's purpose was to consolidate the international revolutionary alliance against the imperialists of the world."
Shigenobu returned to Japan sometime during July 2000. She was arrested in Osaka in November 2000. Japanese citizens were startled to see a handcuffed middle-aged woman emerge from a train arriving in Tokyo. When Shigenobu spotted the waiting cameras, she raised her hands and gave the thumbs-up sign, shouting at reporters: "I'll fight on!".
Fusako Shigenobu was sentenced to 20 years in prison on March 8, 2006 and received a final verdict from the Supreme Court in 2010 with the same sentence terms. The prosecution charged her on three counts, the use of forged passport, aiding another member in the JRA in obtaining a forged passport, and attempted manslaughter by planning and commanding the 1974 occupation and hostage taking at the French embassy in The Hague, the Netherlands. Shigenobu pleaded guilty to the first two charges, but not guilty to the charge linking her to the 1974 embassy hostage taking. Among the witnesses that appeared in her court for the defense team was Leila Khaled, who is known for the 1969 hijacking of TWA Flight 840, and is now a member of the Palestinian National Council. In his final verdict, the judge stated that there was no conclusive evidence of her involvement in the armed occupation of the French embassy that resulted in the injury of two policemen, or in the intention of attempted manslaughter, but sentenced her for possibly conspiring with members of her group to occupy the embassy.
Shigenobu still endorses the same cause, unapologetically claiming that the verdict is only the start of a stronger movement, and remaining convinced that she should not have been convicted, claiming that since her group's activities were politically motivated, she should have been offered a "political way out of the situation". At a press conference before the sentence in February 2006, her lawyers read a haiku (a form of Japanese poetry) she had composed: "The verdict is not the end. It is only the beginning. Strong will shall keep spreading."
In December 2008, Shigenobu was diagnosed with colon and intestinal cancer and has had three operations to remove them. She is living in Hachioji Medical Prison.
Fusako Shigenobu is the mother of Japanese national Mei Shigenobu, a journalist.