Memories of race: representations of mixed race people in girls’ comic magazines in post-occupation Japan

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Dissertations, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2017-03-14 23:18Z by Steven

Memories of race: representations of mixed race people in girls’ comic magazines in post-occupation Japan

Sayuri Arai

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
2016-11-30

As the number of mixed race people grows in Japan, anxieties about miscegenation in today’s context of intensified globalization continue to increase. Indeed, the multiracial reality has recently gotten attention and led to heightened discussions surrounding it in Japanese society, specifically, in the media. Despite the fact that race mixing is not a new phenomenon even in “homogeneous” Japan, where the presence of multiracial people has challenged the prevailing notion of Japaneseness, racially mixed people have been a largely neglected group in both scholarly literature and in wider Japanese society.

My dissertation project offers a remedy for this absence by focusing on representations of mixed race people in postwar Japanese popular culture. During and after the U.S. Occupation of Japan (1945-1952), significant numbers of racially mixed children were born of relationships between Japanese women and American servicemen. American-Japanese mixed race children, as products of the occupation, reminded the Japanese of their war defeat. Miscegenation and mixed race people came to be problematized in the immediate postwar years.

In the 1960s, when Japan experienced the postwar economic miracle and redefined itself as a great power, mixed race Japanese entertainers (e.g., models, actors, and singers) became popular. This popularity of multiracial entertainers created a konketsuji boom (mixed-blood boom) in Japanese media and popular culture. As such, the images and stereotypes of racially mixed people shifted considerably from the 1950s into the 1970s.

Through a close textual analysis of representations of mixed race stars and characters in major Japanese girls’ comic magazines published during the 1950s and 1960s, my dissertation illuminates the ways in which the meanings of mixed race people shifted from strongly negative to ambivalent, or even positive, in the context of postwar economic growth. Closely looking at the changing U.S.-Japan relations in the aftermath of World War II and in the Cold War context, this project provides insight into the ways in which memories of World War II and of the U.S. Occupation are reconstructed through representations of mixed race people in Japanese media and popular culture in postwar Japan.

As this dissertation project suggests, girls’ comic magazines are one of the few pivotal spaces where issues of race mixing in postwar Japan are allowed to be openly and regularly discussed, and where a wide range of multiracial people are portrayed in imaginative ways. As I argue, in the early post-occupation years, the overrepresentation of Black-Japanese occupation babies in girls’ comic magazines inadvertently contributed to foisting the blame of the former Western Occupation onto Black bodies and to reconstructing the image of the West.

Subsequently, during the 1960s, the whiteness of mixed race stars and characters, glorified in consumerist media culture, greatly contributed to overshadowing the image of the West as the former enemy and to dissociating racially mixed people from the stigma of being “occupation babies,” intimately entangled with the memory of Japan’s defeat in World War II.

My dissertation demonstrates that representations of racially mixed people in girls’ comic magazines played a crucial role in remaking the meanings of mixed race Japanese and reconstructing memories of World War II and the U.S. Occupation, in part because girls’ comic magazines have elaborated a distinct aesthetics, ethics, and worldview shaped within girls’ culture.

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Op-Ed: When the Nazis wrote the Nuremberg laws, they looked to racist American statutes

Posted in Articles, Europe, History, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2017-03-14 23:04Z by Steven

Op-Ed: When the Nazis wrote the Nuremberg laws, they looked to racist American statutes

The Los Angeles Times
2017-02-22

James Q. Whitman, Ford Foundation Professor of Comparative and Foreign Law
Yale Law School

James Q. Whitman is a professor of comparative and foreign law at Yale Law School. He is the author of “Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law

The European far right sees much to admire in the United States, with political leaders such as Marine le Pen of France and Geert Wilders of the Netherlands celebrating events — such as the recent presidential election — that seem to bode well for their brand of ethno-nationalism. Is this cross-Atlantic bond unprecedented? A sharp break with the past? If it seems so, that’s only because we rarely acknowledge America’s place in the extremist vanguard — its history as a model, even, for the very worst European excesses.

In the late 1920s, Adolf Hitler declared in “Mein Kampf” that America was the “one state” making progress toward the creation of a healthy race-based order. He had in mind U.S. immigration law, which featured a quota system designed, as Nazi lawyers observed, to preserve the dominance of “Nordic” blood in the United States.

The American commitment to putting race at the center of immigration policy reached back to the Naturalization Act of 1790, which opened citizenship to “any alien, being a free white person.” But immigration was only part of what made the U.S. a world leader in racist law in the age of Hitler.

Then as now, the U.S. was the home of a uniquely bold and creative legal culture, and it was harnessed in the service of white supremacy. Legislators crafted anti-miscegenation statutes in 30 states, some of which threatened severe criminal punishment for interracial marriage. And they developed American racial classifications, some of which deemed any person with even “one drop” of black blood to belong to the disfavored race. Widely denied the right to vote through clever devices like literacy tests, blacks were de facto second-class citizens. American lawyers also invented new forms of de jure second-class citizenship for Filipinos, Puerto Ricans and more…

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Studying “Mixed Race”: Reflections on Methodological Practice

Posted in Articles, Canada, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science on 2017-03-14 19:50Z by Steven

Studying “Mixed Race”: Reflections on Methodological Practice

International Journal of Qualitative Methods
Volume 13, Issue: 1 (2014)
pages 347-361
DOI: 10.1177/160940691401300117

Jillian Paragg
Department of Sociology
University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

In this article, I reflexively consider how three experiences from conducting an interview project with Canadian young adults of mixed race can lead to questions about methodological practice in “mixed race” research. These three experiences also have implications for theorizing mixed race identity. First, in the study, respondents complicated their hailing (Althusser, 2000) as mixed race through responding to a recruitment ad that used that term, but revealed in the interview that they did not actually self-identify as mixed race. Second, the space of the interview enabled me to ask respondents probing questions to “think through” the operation of race in their everyday lives. Third, the complex dynamic of “insider/outsider” between the respondents and myself (through my own identity as mixed race) was foregrounded throughout the research process, signaling complex commonalities between the researcher and research participants.

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Passing Before ‘Passing’: The Ambivalent Identity of the Narrator in Johnson’s The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-03-14 18:59Z by Steven

Passing Before ‘Passing’: The Ambivalent Identity of the Narrator in Johnson’s The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man

European Scientific Journal
Volume 13, Number 5 (2017)
DOI: 10.19044/esj.2017.v13n5p1

Bassam M. Al-Shraah, Teaching Associate
School of Linguistics and Language Studies
Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada

James Weldon Johnson’s The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man is considered by many as an early seminal censure and commentary on the contested racial issue of African American in the United States of America. This paper argues that the ‘invisible’ protagonist of the Novel has passed for white as early as his childhood years. The narrator relinquishes his black identity for the conveniences and supremacy that the white identity entails. This paper brings to question the credibility of narrative in the novel; also, it proves that the narrator contradicts himself. The invisible narrator appears not to have a firm stance regarding the atrocities suffered by his own people—African Americans. People of color in the United States were caught between two cultures, identities, and lives. The un-named narrator has taken the least troubled road. He announces his passing for white at the end of the novel. This study contends that he has done so long time ago before he literally announces his passing.

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Orange Is the New Black Dives into Latinx Identity Politics

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2017-03-14 18:46Z by Steven

Orange Is the New Black Dives into Latinx Identity Politics

The Outtake
2016-11-07

Rebecca Bodenheimer


Maria Ruiz (Jessica Pimentel) and Gloria Mendoza (Selenis Leyva)

The series treats relations between Dominicans, Mexicans, and Puerto Ricans with a level of nuance uncommon in mainstream media

The fourth season of Orange Is the New Black (2013 — ) has a lot to say about inter-ethnic hostility within the Latinx community. The episode “Power Suit” (4.2) dives most deeply into these conflicts, treating relations between New York Dominicans, Mexicans, and Puerto Ricans with a level of nuance and depth uncommon in mainstream media.

In “Power Suit,” we learn via flashbacks that inmate Maria Ruiz (Jessica Pimentel) does not have an easy relationship with the Dominican nationalism her father tried to inculcate in her. We see her reject the ethnocentrism of her father, which is primarily directed at the new waves of Mexican immigrants whom he sees as attempting to take over “Dominican” territory in New York…

…Because Latin American countries have historically included a mixed-race category in their official population counts, many Latinx draw a hard and fast line between mestizo/mulato (mixed race) and negro (black). This presents a major contrast with racial categorization in the U.S., so shaped by the “one-drop” rule that lumps everyone with African ancestry together as “black.”

Afro-Latinx have only begun to be recognized in recent decades as a distinct population group in many countries, such as Mexico, Peru, and Colombia. Thus, to delve into the racial politics of Latinx identity and give this issue some airplay is not a small feat…

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Interracial Delaware couple ignores critics for nearly 50 years

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2017-03-14 17:42Z by Steven

Interracial Delaware couple ignores critics for nearly 50 years

Delaware Online
2016-11-25

Margie Fishman


Sara and Pat Aldrich of Lewes. They got married the day after the Supreme Court legalized mixed-race marriages. Jason Minto/The News Journal

She grew up in the northwest corner of Missouri, a blip on the map, where you could afford to be color blind because the only “person of color” was an elderly black woman who would slip into church and make a hasty exit before the benediction.

He grew up near prestigious Yale University, the son of domestics who saw his parents three times (in a good week), and was one of three black kids in his high school graduating class, always on the social periphery.

They might never have met, though they nearly crossed paths several times during their young adult years. Even if they had met then, strident objections against mixing races would’ve filled the background, contaminating their relationship before it had a chance to blossom.

But Sara Beth Kurtz, a shy, determined dancer, and Vince “Pat” Collier Aldrich Jr., a medical records specialist who listened to his gut and to the occasional opera, did meet in 1965 in a sleepy German village — courtesy of the United States military…

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The Marxist Aspect in Bessie Head’s A Question of Power

Posted in Africa, Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, South Africa on 2017-03-14 17:03Z by Steven

The Marxist Aspect in Bessie Head’s A Question of Power

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature
Volume 5, Number 7 (2016)
pages 101-109

Mohamed Fathi Helaly
College of Arts and Science
Prince Sattam Bin Abdul-Aziz University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

South Africa is one country where racial discrimination was widespread. Like the rest of the color-skinned people, colored writers in South Africa are marginalized and denied the right to express their experiences of living in a society riddled with racial inequality and oppression. Marxism is a school of thought that is concerned about the conflict between the dominant powerful classes and the oppressed ones in any given society. According to Marxism, literary texts are viewed as material that can be interpreted within historical contexts. South Africa is a country where the Apartheid System has been dominant. It is a country that has people of different ethnicity: the White, the Black and the Colored who are known as people of mixed race or hybrid. In South Africa colored people are doubly oppressed by their community, as they belong neither to the Black nor to the White. The colored people are marginalized and demeaned to a very degraded status by their society. Bessie Head is a South African female writer who is concerned about the clash between the different classes in her society. In this study the researcher wants to explore the class-struggle of women in general and the hybrid females in particular under the Apartheid System from a Marxist point of view. As a South-African female writer, Head is concerned about the struggle for power between the White and The Black, on the one hand, and between the hybrids on the other. A Question of Power can be seen as an indictment of the governing system in South Africa. It is a system that governs people not as ordinary human beings but according to the color of their skin. It is an autobiographical novel that tells the story of Elizabeth as a women living under the Apartheid System. Elizabeth, the fictional character of Bessie Head, has to suffer greatly as a woman but her suffering as a hybrid is even greater. On the one hand, she is socially marginalized as a female living in a patriarchal society. On the other hand, she is also culturally colonized as an individual living in a society where racial discrimination is prevailing. On account of what is mentioned so far Elizabeth is suffering from an identity crisis.

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Science, Sexuality, and Race in the United States and Australia, 1780–1940 Revised Edition

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, Oceania, United States on 2017-03-14 15:21Z by Steven

Science, Sexuality, and Race in the United States and Australia, 1780–1940 Revised Edition

University of Nebraska Press
2017-07-01
516 pages
7 illustrations, 1 table, index
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8032-9591-9

Gregory D. Smithers, Associate Professor of History
Virginia Commonwealth University

Science, Sexuality, and Race in the United States and Australia, 1780–1940, Revised Edition is a sociohistorical tour de force that examines the entwined formation of racial theory and sexual constructs within settler colonialism in the United States and Australia from the Age of Revolution to the Great Depression. Gregory D. Smithers historicizes the dissemination and application of scientific and social-scientific ideas within the process of nation building in two countries with large Indigenous populations and shows how intellectual constructs of race and sexuality were mobilized to subdue Aboriginal peoples.

Building on the comparative settler-colonial and imperial histories that appeared after the book’s original publication, this completely revised edition includes two new chapters. In this singular contribution to the study of transnational and comparative settler colonialism, Smithers expands on recent scholarship to illuminate both the subject of the scientific study of race and sexuality and the national and interrelated histories of the United States and Australia.

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