Dream of the Water Children: The Black Pacific

“Babysan” by Bill Hume; and Japan Society Review by Kim Brandt



One of the most interesting and revealing pieces of art and history, as well as what I think to be among the most “valuable” from the U.S.-Allied Occupation of Japan, is Bill Hume’s cartoon book: Babysan: A Private Look at the Japanese Occupation.

A great review of this book can be found at the Japan Society, written by Kim Brandt:


This book gives a great glimpse into how American soldiers viewed their stay in Japan, as Occupiers, as boys who have left home, as military personnel, who were largely becoming intimate with a “Japan” through their relationships with their own ideas about “Oriental” women and Japanese women themselves. In my own work, I focus much on the more intense violent interactions in order to make points related to uneven relations, nation-building, and the tactics and thinking that create the will, desire, and the unspoken aspects of military occupation and empire-building in our world, whether past or present, and most likely the same building blocks that will be re-created in structural procedures and people’s minds in the future. Babysan looks at these these things in the intimate everyday, through their loneliness, need for affection and sex, and their position as conquerors, as male.

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National Coming Out Day Should signify WORK to Do


To every person that was called “faggot” or “pervert” or “dyke bitch,” kicked around and beaten up. To every person who was KILLED because of it. For every kid who was thrown out by their parents and became homeless and then got into drugs and prostitution to survive; to every kid who had to leave home because of his relentless parents teasing him and humiliating him and calling him names because he wasn’t “man enough” or she wasn’t woman enough unless she did it with a man or lengthen her hair and wore women’s clothes, for every boy who played with dolls and was punished; to every girl who felt more like the boys she played with but still had to refer to herself as “herself.”  To every child and every teenager and every adult, who has had to fit themselves into a box and felt like they died because of it.

And to

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Buddhist Quote: Ideologies, Reality, Practice


This quote, I feel, is an important one, among many, when it comes to looking at humanity, and the way we repeat our conflicts, issues, violences, and oppressions–both within and without, in individuals and in social life. Now that we live in a globalized world through world war and centuries of imperialism and colonization, it is of utmost importance that we understand ourselves and to dispel with the notion that everything is natural and hopeless–or that the world is divided into “good” and “evil” and other such teachings we have learned.  These thoughts project outward and inward, preventing the dissolution of the conditions we need to create for just and more creative societies in the future.

So here is a quote I hope people can think about, in relation to social justice.  This does not mean that we “retreat” from others. This means that we must become thinkers, reflectors, and not be so alienated through our learned ideologies, worldviews, and narcissism. It is the opposite of what it seems like it is telling us.  This is because we are disempowered through “foreign” spiritualities and politics. When we become empowered, then we can do what this admonishes us to do, with an understanding that we will make mistakes and not be perfect–because that is no longer our concern.  Our concerns will be from the wisdom and compassion that most of us have.  Others won’t have it and want to destroy the world because of it not living up to their expectations.  The “good” in Buddhist practice, is not about being “nice” or someone who does not think, or who is pious, or who is one-dimensional and condescending with compassion. The “good” will be self-revealed through inwardly trusting and reflection, not mimicking and hiding away and being successful and comfortable.  The Buddha’s depth became more earth-shattering for many who were religious, when he said that people should not believe him–the Buddha himself either, without putting this to the test, and if it disagrees with your thinking, discard that thought or premise. In Buddhism, this is why there is no perfect space/place/behavior. It is in flux and changeable, a struggle.  So in Buddhism, it is called “practice.”


Reminder: MY BOOK Release Date by 2Leaf Press is Delayed until Next Year November!

Scanned Image 110380005
My Dad, My Uncle Teruo, and my Mother, the week before our family would leave for the United States in 1962 (or early 1963).


For those who didn’t get my notice:  MY BOOK is now delayed another year and will be published in November of next year (2017).

Frustrating and labor-intensive working with a publisher.  But it has been rewarding as well.

It will be a great project after two decades of work!

Note on the photo:  My father was a U.S. Occupying soldier who had been stationed in Japan and Korea during the Korean War. My Uncle Teruo was in the Japanese Imperial Army as a commander, who had fought in Burma (now Myanmar) in one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. Both men, were philosophically “international humanitarians” and believed in global togetherness and progress. They formed an easy friendship, although understandably, it wasn’t quite so smooth with some of the rest of our Japanese family.

In my book, much of this is told, among others’ stories that expand the present-day with different pasts of different lands and peoples.

Stay Tuned!!

Human Zoos: Subconscious Global Color Lines

African mother and child in the African exhibit in Paris.
African mother and child in the African exhibit in Paris.


One of the strongest global collective memories, still operating in our world today as “the global color line between white and other,” is the Human Zoo.

These “zoos” were planned and constructed to exhibit “aborigines,” native “tribal” peoples, and “indigenous” darker-skinned peoples from around the world, for white and white wanna-be people to be amused and entertained and “discovered” by. Often, they were just added exhibits to existing animal zoos.

From the Asia-Pacific and Pacific Islands, African, European and American continents, the white formation of a “world” was being formed via the consolidating of global mapping and human social ordering through race science (white at the top) and the self-structures of modernity (future-oriented and primitivity connected to the past, ecology and less rational), through which the assumptions of superiority and inferiority are silently or overtly proven.  From Burun and Atayal people of Formosa (Taiwan), Igorot and Aeta from the Philippines, Native American tribes including Inuit and Sioux from North America,The Sami of Finland, Egyptian and Congo tribal peoples, and many others, were exhibited.

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Dewayne Everettsmith, Aboriginal Singer

Dewayne Everettsmith is one of the most popular singer-songwriters in Australia today. He speaks and sings passionately to the continuing struggles of his people and brings light to the histories that he feels people must know, and to pay tribute to the ancestors and the lands that birthed him and the Aboriginal peoples on the Australian continent and the diaspora.  The song is entitled: Melaythina, and is available on I-Tunes. Here is the quote from the music video: “celebrating the Tasmanian Aboriginal people’s connection to Country. This is an edited version of a song written by Roger Sculthorpe, Heather Sculthorpe, June Sculthorpe, Chris Mansell, Di Cook and Theresa Sainty from the Tasmanian Aboriginal community and sung in palawa kani, Tasmanian Aboriginal language to school students on a TMAG program.”

Aboriginal Music Group from Australia: Black Arm Band


Black Arm Band is a group of some of the best-known music artists of Aboriginal Australia. Their piece: Dirtsong, giving homage to Australia’s land and spirit, has won worldwide acclaim.

If one understands the destruction of the Aboriginal communities that are ongoing in Australia, from the colonial period and continuing through today, we can understand the intense feelings, connected to land and memory, invoked in these presentations that have touched millions around the world.

Scars: Inter-generational Perpetration


Ginza 1951 - Men's Shoes - Werner Bischof
Black-American soldier waiting for a shoe shine by Japanese in the Ginza district of Japan during the Occupation of Japan, 1951. One should think of what this means for people and cultures. Photo: Men’s Shoes – Werner Bischof


Currently, there are many articles regarding the passing down of trauma in DNA. I am particularly focusing on trauma as a result of war, genocide, mass violence, and social oppression leading to refugee-making and exile, as well as such things as domestic violence. Inter-generational trauma is real. I did not need a scientific research paper to tell me this. However, as usual, I find that this kind of research, and these kinds of articles, have contradictory effects, like mostly everything in public life. Especially, if it has to do with oppression. Thinking about my own life, and the trajectories from what I know of my father’s life and mother’s life, and their parents’ and the conditions through which they survived and thrive, I see many issues. For now, I want to discuss five (5) distinct ones first, in relation to this “thing” we are beginning to mainstream: intergenerational trauma, the internal scars passed through time. The five I want to mention here are:

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Blog-post by Mark Makino – on the Japanese term: “Gaikoku-Jin” which translates: “Outsider-foreigner”

Mark Makino‘s post on the embedded aspects of race, nation, colonialism, and Japanese identity in the term: Gaikoku-Jin (Outsider-Foreigner):

Foreign? Western? White? Non-Japanese? Occidental proboscis monsters?


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