Dream of the Water Children: The Black Pacific

Photo: My Cousins and I: Nara 奈良県. Summer 1961

Backyard with my two cousins, me, in the middle, in Nara, 1961.

Amerasians are usually written and painted with a wide and singular brush–as orphaned, living in Asia, traumatized and confused.

I put up some of my photos and write these things on this blog, to point to the diversity and invisibility of Amerasians.  My family stayed in tact, although in the beginning my parents had it hard and my father was wholly absent–since the U.S. government did not allow them to marry.

My mother’s family and some of the neighbors treated me no differently from anyone else, contrary to the popular notion of a total racist Japanese country in postwar Japan.  This was not the case, as you can see the glimpse of the fun I had with my cousins.

In addition, due to the military keeping my father purposely away from my mother, and my mother being uncertain of his return (because many of her friends did not ever see their American boyfriends again and were pregnant or already with their Ameri-Japanese children), it was indeed interesting that they did marry and we came to the United States the year after this photo was taken.

In the summers, my mother and I would visit my mother’s older brother who lived in Shakudō  尺土, in Nara prefecture 奈良県.

Amerasians is a term, like all nationalized, Anglicized, globalized and racialized terms, is political and needs to be unpacked from the boundaries and discourses that cross through the bodies of so-called mixed-race, transnational bodies and the bodies of women and men.

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