Do you know where the word bikini comes from? Yes: the bikini swim suit.
It was the name given by an engineer, Louis Réard, in 1946, two weeks after the nuclear tests on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, to his more “risque” version of the two-piece swimsuits introduced earlier by fashion designer Jacques Heim, with a different name.
Because the bikini was more revealing, it was slow to catch on as a design and was made illegal in many places, before it became intensely popular leading into the late 1950s and 60s.
Kenji Chienshu Liu‘s latest book of poetry: Map of an Onion, (published by Inlandia Institute 2016), a recent winner of the U.S. national Hillary Gravendyk Prize, is an exquisite blend of intimacy, heart, colonial history’s effects, war, displacements and identity. Grief, loss, and rage are not locked into rational categories displaced in a western psychological malaise, but are instead interwoven and particularized in textures of belonging, memory and uncovering, through the vast emptiness of fullness-in-difference, of history and intimately personal worlds, evoked between words and from words.
I highly recommend this for anyone who loves poetry in contexts of understanding and owning the multiple histories through which our personal lives are woven; intricately with others, of the present and times past, and the future.
Vimeo Visual Poems accompanying the Book, at Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/album/3840355
Leah Silvieus‘s review of Kenji’s book at Hyphen Magazine: http://hyphenmagazine.com/blog/2016/03/“i’ll-look-behind-you-you-arrive”-kenji-c-liu’s-map-onion
Currently, there are many articles regarding the passing down of trauma in DNA. I am particularly focusing on trauma as a result of war, genocide, mass violence, and social oppression leading to refugee-making and exile, as well as such things as domestic violence. Inter-generational trauma is real. I did not need a scientific research paper to tell me this. However, as usual, I find that this kind of research, and these kinds of articles, have contradictory effects, like mostly everything in public life. Especially, if it has to do with oppression. Thinking about my own life, and the trajectories from what I know of my father’s life and mother’s life, and their parents’ and the conditions through which they survived and thrive, I see many issues. For now, I want to discuss five (5) distinct ones first, in relation to this “thing” we are beginning to mainstream: intergenerational trauma, the internal scars passed through time. The five I want to mention here are:
Through Killing, Peaceful nations are formed. The Intimacy between Killing and National peace is simultaneous in our world. This is why we must unpack histories: To learn how things and ideas and identities have been formed and forged in power relations and false-unifications. To react in resentment and rage will bring more. Not doing anything will bring more.
Displacement is a condition of being out-of-sorts, dissociated, gnawingly empty in some portion of something or some place or as Self. Displacement, from a cultural studies, anthropology, sociology point-of-reference, can seem “normal” and “everyday” precisely because we live in the post-colonial condition. Decades and decades of colonialism, globalizing white heterosexist patriarchies.
Today, according to a few sources, there are an estimated two million Amerasians–children and adults of local women across Asia who have been sired by United Statian military and civilian men and abandoned by the men. If we are to include Ameri-Pacifics–those born in the Pacific and South Seas Islands, the numbers would, of course, be higher. Often, in these stories, the harrowing and rough stories of Amerasians are told, and must be continued to be told. But the stories of the mothers, are backgrounded.
Here is the second installment of my video series.
It is a visual poem. Read, listen, feel, think.
Hopefully you will be curious, look up information and terms you don’t quite know or understand.
Be outraged? Become more understanding? Curious?
Watch this in HD for the best view!
If you prefer VIMEO – the same video is here: https://vimeo.com/153967699
Controlling Amerasian Body-Minds: The American and French-Fathered Mixed-Race Children in Japan, Korea and Vietnam
For infants and children born to local mothers in Japan and Korea, fathered by U.S. military and civilian personnel during the U.S. occupation of these countries, their lives were not in their own or their mothers’ control. During U.S. occupations in Asia and the Pacific which began earlier—Hawaii, the Philippines, Guam, the Mariana Islands, and the Solomon Islands—the same issues became prevalent, real, a struggle, continuing today. It continues today because these places are still “occupied.” And then in the latest full-out colonial Cold War played out in Southeast Asia, the same for the children and their mothers. But let us not forget that before the U.S. arrived in Southeast Asia, the French colonized Indochina. They had state policies on how to control the issue of the Metís, as they were called by the French, which differed from the United Statians.
A Black-Japanese Amerasian reflects on life in the present, with the traces of wars and their aftermaths. 2Leaf Press is pleased to announce the publication of Fredrick D. Kakinami Cloyd’s first book, DREAM OF THE WATER CHILDREN, MEMORY AND MOURNING IN THE BLACK PACIFIC, in June 2016.
There has always been contact between cultures. Japan is no different.