Dream of the Water Children: The Black Pacific

ARTICLE: Vintage Japanese Movies about Mixed-Black Japanese

Ningen no Shōmei 人間の証明 Proof of a Human Being (1977) was one of the Postwar Japanese movies that depicted the Black-Japanese mixed race children and the social  impact and effects from their presence in Japan. As movies go, the issue is covered on personal, individual case stories but covering up the social policies Japan created, for mixed-race children and their mothers, especially.

Postwar Japanese films about their Amerasian people: Problematic, en vogue at the times, pointing to exclusions and criminalizations that dot the mindscape of dominant nations regarding “mixed” children and people.

Although these movies have problematic viewpoints and melodrama in the Japanese theatrical tradition, they are important movies in that they are movies directly pointing to Amerasian children of African-American/Japanese ancestry.  Movies often assume hilariously wrong perspectives and conditions regarding life in the US and takes Japanese prejudices into the realm of spreading and proliferating racialized notions of being “mixed” and does not question Japanese-ness and its histories of assimilation of diverse peoples in the name of a modern nation, just as every other nation.

CLICK HERE TO READ this pretty good, and only blog post on these vintage Japanese movies.  The photo above is from one of the films mentioned, which also had re-makes over the years: Ningen no Shomei 人間の証明 (Proof of a Human Being)

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