Let me be clear from the start: I am critiquing, not criticizing. Criticizing judges, has a moral hierarchy, is more “truth oriented.” I come from an intellectual background that struggles to critique–to point out crevices, junctures, and points of diversion that may open to new possibilities that present multiple locations from a single space (as opposed to criticism which tends to negate and/or annihilate whatever it points to). What is “multiracial” and “bi-racial” for? Who does it serve? What does it do or not do? Why?
One of the most interesting and revealing pieces of art and history, as well as what I think to be among the most “valuable” from the U.S.-Allied Occupation of Japan, is Bill Hume’s cartoon book: Babysan: A Private Look at the Japanese Occupation.
A great review of this book can be found at the Japan Society, written by Kim Brandt:
This book gives a great glimpse into how American soldiers viewed their stay in Japan, as Occupiers, as boys who have left home, as military personnel, who were largely becoming intimate with a “Japan” through their relationships with their own ideas about “Oriental” women and Japanese women themselves. In my own work, I focus much on the more intense violent interactions in order to make points related to uneven relations, nation-building, and the tactics and thinking that create the will, desire, and the unspoken aspects of military occupation and empire-building in our world, whether past or present, and most likely the same building blocks that will be re-created in structural procedures and people’s minds in the future. Babysan looks at these these things in the intimate everyday, through their loneliness, need for affection and sex, and their position as conquerors, as male.
The contours of colonialism and cultural identity, along with socio-economic class and discrimination, create the uneven and violent relations within nations. Citizenship is only a paper-worked body-armor when it lives everyday in social relations anywhere.
Within Every Woman . . . . . There is a Story. Yes.
This is a very important film. I am glad that it is made.
In the present times, the nation-state and its corporate-military structures hold life into place with discourses. As humans, we respond to it. When we live in resistance to certain rules of language, concepts and positions in relation to identity and place and self and community, we find out that assimilating is easier.
There is diversity in the world. But not as diverse as previous times. Globalization–aka neo-colonization, has made empires and colonies into nation-states.
In the first week of February, there were decisions made by the U.S. government, the U.S. military and the government of Japan, with the governing body of Okinawa, to relocate 4,700 U.S. troops from the Okinawan bases to Guam. This number is about half of what was originally planned.