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Namiko Kunimoto’s new book, “The Stakes of Exposure,” interweaves artist practices and works with key events in postwar Japan. As such, the reader will learn about events that were critical in shaping postwar politics and protest that have previously been treated separately in the English literature: the Minamata Disaster, the Lucky Dragon Incident, and the ANPO protests.

But, as Kunimoto notes, these events “were not simply the ‘context’ for postwar art making in Japan.” Kunimoto, an assistant professor of art history at Ohio State University, argues against understanding “art” as something distinct from the “visual aspects of political history.” She examines that dynamic by focusing on gender, the body, nationhood and representation in the 1950s and ’60s. The “exposure” of the title refers to various postwar anxieties about the dangers of modern life, from industrial pollutants and nuclear weapons to the urban environment.

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