Walter Hamilton has come out with his great book: Children of the Occupation: Japan’s Untold Story.
This book covers the period of history that produced me and my immediate family. Although it does not focus on Black-Japanese postwar mixed-ness specifically, it does nevertheless cover Black-Japanese-ness within the context of konketsuji.
Although the experience of those mixed-Japanese and mixed-Okinawans are different from the postwar experience (like my own), there is the thread of history and legacy that still lives in its identification and lived realities in the present. As I am alive now, today, of course my life informs life, and life then and now, informs everything.
Time has passed, but many of its unrealized dreams and traumas live on, oft-repeated now in all of the Asian countries where European and North American military personnel live, even without local wars. The women and the children of these Asian lands are thought of in the practically the same way. Often, the same legal structures from the 1950s, still exist. This makes the cultural formations similar between then and now.
Walter Hamilton’s book is from the experience of many Australian soldiers who were a part of the Allied Occupation of Japan, which is another aspect rarely spoken of in the United States. The Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians, Brits, and the so-called “minorities” within these armies (such as the South Asian occupation soldiers in the British army or the Black-Americans in the US forces and administration officials), all had complex relations and histories with each other, forming the nexus of “occupation experience” and relations of tension with the local Japanese and mixed-race children. Add to this, the configurations of sexism and heterosexism in the patriarchal formations of military power by victorious forces.
This book is surely an important work for further study on this often forgotten and ignored topic.
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