Dream of the Water Children: The Black Pacific

Black, Yellow, White in Japan and Asia

JPN - Black Sambo - Ufu and Mufu - Robert Moorehead
Black Sambo characters: Ufu and Mufu, popular in Japan – photo by Robert Moorehead

 

My need to think about Blackness in Asia goes far beyond the fact of my father being an African-American soldier stationed in Japan during the Korean War. It goes beyond anti-Black attitudes among Asians that I have experienced, and the anti-Asian attitude I have experienced among African-Americans today. I knew that a superficial and very American notion of anti-black racism in the United States would not do to understand my own place in history and the languages I would use to uncover and do my part to undo its power in the world.

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VIDEO: “B-Style” – Blackness in Japan 2009 to the Present – Reflections

black-lifestyle-in-japan 1

When dominant nations unconsciously or consciously speak of, imagine, and create words and images and feel something in regards to an “other”, terms such as: exotic, erotic, jealousy, mystery, fear, violent disgust, attraction, desire, mimicry come up. These are all evoked in Japan and the dominant white nations (US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg).

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