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.
Blog-post by Mark Makino – on the Japanese term: “Gaikoku-Jin” which translates: “Outsider-foreigner”
Mark Makino‘s post on the embedded aspects of race, nation, colonialism, and Japanese identity in the term: Gaikoku-Jin (Outsider-Foreigner):
Foreign? Western? White? Non-Japanese? Occidental proboscis monsters?
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.
Konketsuji Rika 混血児 リカ (Mixed-Blood Rica), is another vintage Japanese movie that was fairly successful for its makers. This movie was released in 1972. It was proven so successful that it was turned into a trilogy with two more films in its series. They are in the “exploitation” tradition. More information here.
“As the war years themselves changed over into an era of peace between Japan and the Allied powers, the shrill racial rhetoric of the early 1940s revealed itself to be surprisingly adaptable. . . . . . . .
The Chinese government and its corporations and trade industries, along with elites of many African nations (not all), have had relations for decades and centuries.
Jet Magazine and Ebony Magazine, the premiere popular magazines for African-Americans from the war era and continuing, published many articles that reflected the issues of the times.
I want to make a small, agitating comment on the conditions that underlie the photo above. This is from a March 23, 2011 event in Okinawa.
The Aeta, are a Negrito people of the Philippines. Aeta people are among the many Negrito peoples who inhabit the Pacific and the Asian continent, as well as the south seas into Australia and Micronesia.