Black Box: The Memoir That Sparked Japan's #Metoo Movement
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About the Author
Shiori Ito (born 1989) is a freelance journalist who contributes news footage and documentaries to the Economist, Al Jazeera, Reuters, and other primarily non-Japanese media outlets. In 2017 she published Black Box about her own experiences as a rape survivor, making her one of the few women in Japan to speak out against sexual assault. In 2020, she was named one of TIME's Most Influential People of the year.
Allison Markin Powell has been awarded grants from English PEN and the NEA, and the 2020 PEN America Translation Prize for The Ten Loves of Nishino by Hiromi Kawakami. Her other translations include works by Osamu Dazai, Kanako Nishi, and Fuminori Nakamura. She was the guest editor for the first Japan issue of Words Without Borders, served as cochair of the PEN America Translation Committee, and currently represents the committee on PEN's Board of Trustees. She maintains the database Japanese Literature in English and lives in New York.
"Shiori Ito gives a fascinating insight into Japanese social and legal mores, from 'quasi-rape' to the way women are treated in the media. Her account of her courageous fight against sexual violence rejects the harmful trope of the cardboard victim, reclaiming her identity as an adventurous, lively, determined, blithe spirit." --Sohaila Abdulali, author of What We Talk about When We Talk about Rape
"Such a beautifully written book, which means so much more when layered with the pain and injustice it covers. Black Box is Shiori Ito's story, but it's all of our realities." --Amy Richards, author of Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future
"Astonishingly courageous. Ito's determination to bring not simply justice for her own life but justice to survivors everywhere is a blueprint for systemic change. This is how you change the world. Shiori Ito is my hero." --Rachel Louise Snyder, author of No Visible Bruises: What We Don't Know about Domestic Violence Can Kill Us
"The crime of rape was rarely discussed and seldom prosecuted before Shiori Ito decided to charge her attacker. Despite being thwarted by the legal system, she persisted in bringing her story to public attention, thus sparking Japan's first #MeToo reaction. Ito's grit and her determination to seek justice, for herself and for other survivors of sexual violence, is admirable and inspiring." --Anne Summers, author of Damned Whores and God's Police
"Ito's unshakeable commitment to demanding the world she deserves--the world we all deserve--shines from every page. Her story is a master class on how to refuse to be silenced, even when an entire government is set against you." --Jaclyn Friedman, coeditor of Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World without Rape
"Black Box is the courageous testimony of a young woman who risks everything she has worked for and sacrificed to tell the truth about what happened to her. Relying on Ito's training as a journalist, the book is deeply researched and impeccably reported. With clarity and reflection, Ito's voice makes a vital addition to the chorus of those impacted by sexual assault who refuse to keep silent and tell their stories in order to change the future to be a safer, better place for all." --Grace Talusan, author of The Body Papers
"Shiori Ito radiates with passion and conviction for seeking the truth." --Ryuichi Sakamoto, musician and activist
"Black Box is a moving study of sexist Japan, political corruption, police failure to investigate rape, and justice sought and won by Ito's own efforts and investigation." --Jake Adelstein, author of Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan
"While sexual harassment and sexual assault are unfortunately universal issues that are by no means unique to Japanese society, Shiori Ito's painful yet powerful account of being raped provides a unique and valuable exposition of the ways in which victims have often been deterred from coming forward. Ito's courage and persistence in seeking justice not only for herself but for similarly situated survivors, culminating in a landmark victory in her civil suit against the perpetrator, galvanized the #MeToo movement as well as the Flower Demo events held nationwide on International Women's Day since 2019 to protest against and demand changes to laws on sexual violence." --Kumiko Fujimura-Fanselow, professor emerita, Toyo Eiwa University