Mizuko

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Biography, Media Archive on 2018-04-20 02:24Z by Steven

Mizuko

Hapa Japan
2018-04-13

Fredrick Cloyd


Featured Image by Edward M. Haugh

During the years of gathering research and thoughts, memory and conversations into some sort of cohesive unit for a book–which would eventually become the forthcoming (Spring 2018 by 2Leaf Press) entitled: Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific, I had not thought of a title, or a way to fit all the pieces together for the vast amount of links and connections I wanted to make in relation to world historical archive and a definite anti-colonial stance. Yet another story of a unique person in the world was not my goal, although it would also be taken that way. I wanted to reach those who were concerned with looking at the historical present.

In focusing on my mother and myself, it came one day in a dream. Just as the opening scene in my book presents, I am suddenly woken up in the middle of the night to write: みずこ 水子 ミズコ (mizuko) on a notepad I pull out from the bedside drawer. It puzzled me because, at least consciously, I did not know what this word meant or what it was. Then, the next day, I looked it up on the internet. The term mizuko, was the postwar euphemism for aborted fetus, or dead fetus. An entire religious ceremonial ritual grew out of this when the U.S. Occupation lifted its ban on religious ceremonies in Japan. Many women flooded to the countless shrines and statues to pray for those babies gone. Some were so ashamed, they did it in secret. But most women, even after given “permission,” could now do prayers in the forest and write their babies names or burn their incense in the name of that baby they let go from their bodies…

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A Visit to the 2018 Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Caribbean/Latin America, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2018-04-12 19:46Z by Steven

A Visit to the 2018 Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference

Pacific Citizen: The National Newspaper of the JACL
Los Angeles, California
2018-03-28

Rob Buscher, Contributor


Ken Tanabe, left, and Jeff Chiba Stearns lead the Community Caucus at CMRS. (Photo: Rob Buscher)

Leaders in the multiracial movement gather to ‘Resist, Reclaim, Reimagine’ – a direct call to action amidst the current political climate faced by historically underrepresented communities in the U.S.

Over the past few decades, the Japanese American community has become increasingly inclusive of multiracial and multiethnic individuals. However, for those of us who appear less phenotypically Japanese, it is sometimes difficult explaining our connection to people who are less familiar with interracial marriage and mixed-race children.

Multiracial Japanese Americans are in many ways the direct result of institutionalized racism that stigmatized Japanese-ness in the 20th century. From the Alien Land Laws to the mass incarceration during World War II, the very existence of our Japanese immigrant ancestors was deemed objectionable. Is it any wonder that so many of our parents and grandparents would choose intermarriage with partners from other ethnic and racial communities?

Yet, despite the growing prevalence of mixed-race Japanese Americans, there are many outside our community who do not acknowledge the legitimacy of our existence within the spectrum of Japanese American identity.

This is why it was so empowering to attend an event like the Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, where nearly every one of the 200-plus participants were mixed race. While each individual has a totally different experience being mixed race (even within the same mixed community) the fact that multiracial folks were a super majority in this space meant that everyone had at least a basic understanding of the shared complexities surrounding our mixed identities.

Hosted at the University of Maryland on March 1-3, the 2018 conference’s theme was “Resist, Reclaim, Reimagine” — titled with a direct call to action amidst the current political climate faced by historically underrepresented communities in the United States

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