With the demonstrations against nuclear power in 2011 and 2012 having mobilized thousands of Japanese, some commentators claim that civil society as a whole has been transforming towards a state of increased activity. Within this context, this paper aims to prove however, that long before Fukushima, innovative forms of political and social engagement have been developing in certain layers of society. Often not recognized as such, these forms of participation can be conceptualized with Beck’s notion of subpolitics, and are not a particular Japanese phenomenon. This paper focuses on the rhizomatic network surrounding the activists of Shirōto no Ran and the Infoshop Irregular Rhythm Asylum in Tōkyō, who are experimenting with alternative forms of sociality in urban Japan. Also the main organizers of the 2011 anti-nuclear demonstrations, they have been part of a number of protest movements from the mid-2000s in Japan. Therefore, these recent demonstrations should not be interpreted as a singular event or an entirely new development, but must be seen as one aspect of a larger topical and temporal trajectory.