The Neverending Story: Alternative Exchange and Living Politics in a Japanese Regional Community
The Ueda Ma~yu alternative currency group offers an example of the innovative way in which living politics is shaping communities in Japan. The group was amongst hundreds of local currency schemes which emerged in Japan in the early twenty-first century, and has proved one of the most successful. Rather surprisingly, Japan’s local currency boom was inspired by a TV documentary about the ideas of the German fantasy writer Michael Ende. In this chapter, Morris-Suzuki places the work of Ueda Ma~yu in the context of the global alternative currency movement and shows how the group’s success is based on the social environment in which it operates, and on its creative use of a currency as a basis for building a wider community of alternative values.