This is an excellent, full article by Annie Gowen, with photos by Linda Davidson, in the Washington Post, dated April 17, 2015, entitled: Legacies of War: Forty Years After The Fall of Saigon, Soldiers’ Children are Still Left Behind. Click on the title to go to the article.
The Amerasians usually written about, are still being written about, from the dawn of men who travel and spend time in Asia, away from their domestic lives in the United States and elsewhere, to create babies and as often is the case, abandon them, with their mothers, in that homeland. The Vietnam-Southeast Asia War is the latest, and perhaps most remembered of the Asian Wars in which Amerasians are mentioned, and usually languaged as a “social issue” or a “social problem.” Through this language, in the United States and in Southeast Asia, the “Amerasian” is rendered tragic and objects of literary skills that lock Amerasians into their caste positions to be scorned and left “tragic” and “obscure;” for stories like this to be repeated, and for nation-states and American militaries to continue with the conditions that give birth to, in purposeful ways, the maintaining of sufferings that most people seem to care less about.
This article is excellent, tracing new developments such as DNA testing, which allows Amerasian orphans such as those told in these pages, some hope to find their long-lost families, hoping to rise out of the conditions of poverty and longing in which they are forced because of Vietnam (and other Asian nations) entitling themselves to abuse, exclude, and demote the Amerasians and their mothers, to lowly status and to place them into lives of abject struggle. Their lives are not sad, but full of empowerment, strength, perseverance and skills so that they may survive and find. Some are successful in finding their lost fathers in the U.S., but may come to fierce rebuttals and the closing of doors on their hopes because their fathers, or their father’s spouses, won’t allow it. Others never find their fathers, while others find them and build new lives after their search is over, winding into new paths with or without their fathers bringing their relationship into a light that may grow. Military bases, sex, and the intercultural transactions made through bodies and minds, creating societies in far away places, that are directly related to the amount of suffering incurred on children and women, who then grow into teenagers and adults with certain experiences many cannot imagine and wish not to. But perhaps some will read these stories, to understand the far-reaching consequences of war, occupation, and the concept of global military bases and the realities that American pleasures rest upon–the continuities and heartbreaks that must be, in these men and women’s lives, that seem so far away and yet our privileges are linked to.
My BOOK is, for the FIRST TIME in six years of being in the works with the publisher, is ON TRACK!
For the first time, the ENTIRE manuscript has been proofed and is being reviewed for final edits and placement of photos. This has never happened! So it is going to be ready by next fall!
The many photos need to be placed throughout the book in the right places, the captions need to be cleaned up, and then the Index needs to be done.
While this is going on, those doing extra chapters such as the Introduction, will be able to read the manuscript and write their pieces for the Front Matter.
So it feels GOOD to finally be in the “BOOK IS HAPPENING” stage, and no longer in the start-and-stop phase.
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.
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.
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
Marshall Islands Nuclear Displacements – Al Jazeera Article: Invisible and Ignored Oppressions by the U.S.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the recipients of United Statian democracy with the Atomic Bombs dropped. Japan, like Korea would later, had almost all major cities destroyed in daily bombings on them in the great second world war. Now it was Hydrogen bombs. How large would the “democratic” United States build their destructive powers?
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.
In the Fall of 2014, a group of Mixed-Korean Amerasians, mostly adoptees from Mixed-race orphanages in Korea, went on a small tour organized by the tour group Me & Korea, back to Korea, to the orphanages, and to meet Insooni 김인순 — Black-Korean pop-star/diva, who was partially responsible for this event.
Like most other Asian nations where American soldiers have tread, there are born the babies from the union between the local women and American servicemen. In Korea, Philippines, Okinawa, Mariana /Solomon Islands, former South Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, etc.– the Americans have ‘fun’ there, and then go back to the Mainland U.S.A. to join their American families (or are single).