Dream of the Water Children
This blog site is personal and particular.
The Black Pacific is a term that spans continents, generations, and issues that link the Pacific Rim together in the long history of colonization and globalization.
The historical is deeply personal. The deeply personal is historical.
There is no way to refuse this.
The Dream begins.
The journal, this blog, as I write it, begins with a me,
in my single hotel room in San Francisco.
I am awakened by something but not knowing what.
Suddenly, reaching to my nightstand, I pull out a pen and paper
and mysteriously begin writing:
Mizuko 水子 — ‘water child’ or ‘water children.’
It is a Postwar Japanese word connoting
children that have been killed at a young age.
There is something………… there are people……… histories
I ……… don’t remember.
I refuse the forgetting.
What are these links? How do they make me, the world, and what can I do with this knowledge; to perhaps influence, to bring social change?
My life with my mother is the stillpoint of my approach, as I question the meaning of ‘mizuko’ and remembering moments with her from Japan to Hawaii and New Mexico. I began writing to also meet myself as that little boy again, revisit him.
As well, I wanted to place my mother, father, grandmothers and grandfathers, aunties and uncles , all of the ancestors and myself in a context of legacies, carried by identity placed upon us when we are born or as we change–the world and violence, injustices, time itself, and its neat ordering in globalization’s sway. This is not just all here. It’s all *made.*
I was born in Japan. Raised there, and in Hawaii and Albuquerque. Raised in Japan just after the formal end of the US/Allied Occupation of Japan, outside and inside of military bases. The bases in Japan remained. Most of the soldiers remained. Then wars in Korea, then Vietnam. It began with the Philippines(?). But before the US built bases in the Philippines after betraying the Filipino people, the Europeans were in Southeast Asia, China, the Pacific Islands. There was the slave trade in the Pacific Islands by the Americans and Europeans (Australians included) after the Civil War in the US ended. This is why my father, in the 1950s, wound up in Korea and Japan, as colonizer. Meeting my mother, whose eyes bore the memories and weight of bombs and imperial armies and women and children enslaved–
I was/am born.
Blackness, ‘Asian-ness’, indigeneity, whiteness – their repetitions in the now-moment — I conjure them. I let the ghosts speak.
After all, our sociological imagination is continually haunted.
The dream of the mizuko– what the first peoples of indigenous Australasia and Pacific islands named——- ‘Dreamtime.’
The waters flow. The Pacific tells the story I begin to write.
I question hope and the need for it. I seek justice in the name of
of water children.
See “Black Pacific Elegy” video Here
I understand………….born 05/11/55 in Machino city (Tokyo Japan). Permanently moved to USA in 1963.
I understand, too. Born March 6, 1951 in Tokyo, Japan. Military father, Japanese mother. Lived in Japan in Yokohama and Grant Heights and too long in the deep South of north Florida. I miss my mother every day.
Northern FL ?………Eglin AFB in 64……Keesler AFB and Gulf Coast thru 69.
Just discover this site by chance, Floyd I’m proud of you!!!!!! I’ve had this yearning for so long, It’s difficult to gather my thoughts right now I can’t stop crying. born in Tokyo DEC 28-1952, adopted from boys town 1963.
Tokyo 1955 (ChibaKen prefecture)
Thank you for your web site. I am also of mixed Asian and African American race. To see and read so many stories of people’s lives just like me it’s very refreshing, and has given me the courage to look into my Okinawan heritage.
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Kadena AFB 1963. I’am part of the early wave of amerasians. Naturalized citizen in New Mexico. Don Yamamoto-McCrary