Okinawa as dystopia: panoptic monitoring systems in schools

Kotoe Kishimoto, Eisuke Saito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate a dystopian situation with special reference to how a panoptic monitoring system emerges in schools. To satisfy this aim, there will be a close analysis of the city of Nago in Okinawa Prefecture, where there is a huge debate over the new US Marine base construction and how it greatly influences people’s lives. Design/methodology/approach: This study will employ a self-study by the first author, who is a clinical psychologist under the board of education in the city. This self-study aims to examine the lived experiences of the author based on interactions with critical friends. Findings: The government’s selection of the site for the new base created a schism in the community, and the introduction of compensations led to the establishment of a communal panoptic monitoring system. This communal panoptic monitoring largely influences the relationships between pupils, teachers and parents. Further, another panoptic monitoring system has developed inside the Nago schools due to the intensification of the assessment policies given by the ministry in Tokyo. Originality/value: This investigation purports to analyse a dystopian situation with special reference to how a panoptic monitoring system, a key element of a dystopia, emerges in schools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-264
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Comparative Education and Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2019


  • Asymmetric interactions
  • Bureaucratic obedience
  • Dystopia
  • Okinawa
  • Panoptic monitoring system
  • Pressure on schools

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