Dream of the Water Children: The Black Pacific

Join ‘Japan’s War Brides and Their Legacies – 2018 Symposium’

Japan’s War Brides and Their Legacies: 2018 Symposium — a symposium on the legacies and effects of the lives of women who married non-Japanese between 1945 to 1965, will be coming at USC (University of Southern California) in 2018.

I will be one of the organizers and looking forward to building this into a solid first-time program.

My hope is that healing, learning, connection, and impacts are made, linking the individual and diverse post-war Japanese women’s experiences with the lives of their children and what and how this links with other stories that create spaces for thinking for social change and social justice, and to honor the lives of the Japanese war-brides, which are often mired in controversy and various forms of invisiblizing.

Our intention is to bring Japanese war brides, their children, and the scholars, artists, filmmakers, and the general community together for a series of events for sharing, thinking, healing, and inspiration.

If you are a child of a Japanese post-WWII marriage, or are yourself, and would like to join in bringing this symposium together, please join our facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1849706125309535/

2 thoughts on “Join ‘Japan’s War Brides and Their Legacies – 2018 Symposium’”

  1. Dear Mr. Cloyd,
    How do you do? My name is Kaori Mori Want.
    I am a researcher working on mixed race issues in Japan and US, with special focus on Japanese war brides.
    I am now researching on literature written on Japanese war brides both in Japan and the US since many works on Japanese brides are based on interviews. Literature seems to be paid less attention except some famous works such as Velina Hasu Houston’s “Tea,” Sawako Ariyoshi’s “Hishoku” in the research of Japanese war brides.
    I’d like to know more about Japanese war brides and I am strongly interested in joining ‘Japan’s War Brides and Their Legacies – 2018 Symposium.’
    Is there any way to join the symposium rather than joining the facebook since I do not have a facebook account.
    If it is the only way, I will register.
    Sorry for asking you many things but I wil appreciate your help.
    Thank you.
    Kaori Mori Want

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  2. Dear Ms. Mori,
    Thank you for contacting me. Since the symposium is in planning, there is no “organization” to join. Our organizational meetings are planned on Facebook and the information for the dates and times are sent out by email. Our meetings are by Phone/video, since the organizing group, at present are all spread out around the world.

    So…I am not sure what you are asking. Facebook is the best place to get to know many hafu and their mothers and fathers. The Facebook group “Japanese War Brides and Their Children” is a social group and I am also loosely linked. For connections, facebook is the best place.

    Other than this, I can suggest contacting some of our members directly, some of whom have been doing much work on the war brides issues. But most of the work has been in FILM. Other than this, the material is primarily focused on “telling the stories” of the war brides. For our symposium, we have a mix of scholars, artists, and regular people with no background in issues, but who have parents and grandparents who are war brides. As you may know, many of the war brides *deeper* stories and issues are hidden, because of trauma, shame, and also loss of memory. I think those of us who are children of war brides, are interested either in their stories, or are interested in our own stories as “mixed-race” children. Even in Mixed-Japanese, Hafu, and “hapa” issues, the stories of the postwar hafu are often ignored, or place in very very narrow contexts of abandoned and orphaned children. So some of us are trying to tell more stories of different kinds of war brides and experiences and how it connects to current social issues between militarism, peace, social justice, sexism, racism, and nationalism.

    I think it best to join Facebook where you can connect with individuals who might be helpful for you. Also, I am connected to Duncan Williams at USC department of Japanese Literature and Culture, who runs the biannual Hapa Japan conference, and his connections to the Japanese National museums, where lots of work on postwar Japan and the heritage of war brides and Amerasians are supported and engaged. I , along with many scholars, artists, and activists who are the children of war brides, are in contact with each other constantly.

    I must tell you, that in English, there is not too much literature or research done on war brides, except for those who have done the great documentary films. Also, there are many research papers and some books that cover postwar Japan’s mixed-race children, there does not seem to be too much connection between the research on war brides and the research on mixed-race children of war brides. *My BOOK* is attempting to link the two topics more together, as well as bringing up larger issues of the treatment of women by military and national forces, the using of mixed-race children, and the ignoring of them, and the various relationships between us and our mothers and fathers, as far as racism, sexism, masculinity, woman-hood, and the nationalism informing our personalities and relationships. There are other scholars who are doing this, but there are very very few that focus on war brides.

    I am trying to get the children of war brides in both Japan and the United States, together in a collection for an anthology in the future. First I am trying to get to know people and connect. It is a slow process, as war brides and children of war brides, have been individualized (isolated) in the United States, and isolated in Japan (as groups).

    I hope I can be helpful to you. Just let me know . You should contact Duncan Williams at USC, also Lily Ann Yumi Welty, Velina Hasu Houston, Curtiss Takada Roots, Cristine Iijima Hall, Kathryn Tolbert (she did the wonderful film on the war brides), and some others.

    Sincerely and with Hope,
    fredrick

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