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…

Read the entire article here.

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Legacies of Postwar Japan’s “War Bride” Era

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Forthcoming Media, History, Live Events, United States, Women on 2018-04-12 01:13Z by Steven

Legacies of Postwar Japan’s “War Bride” Era

Japanese American National Museum
100 North Central Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90012
Telephone: (213) 625-0414
2018-06-30, 09:00-17:30 PDT (Local Time)

Presented in partnership with the Hapa Japan Project at USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture.

During and shortly after the US-Allied Occupation of Japan, the Japanese women who fraternized with soldiers often met opposition from their families and were shunned by other Japanese. Many mixed-raced children faced severe prejudice for being “impure” and born from the former enemy.

This symposium brings together various stakeholders to tell the stories of the war brides and their children. By focusing on the memories, realities, and legacies of this community, this groundbreaking gathering will create opportunities for listening, discussing, healing, and empowering attendees.

For more information and to RSVP, click here.

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American granddaughter of Japanese WW2 detainee searches for clues about his life

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2018-03-18 03:02Z by Steven

American granddaughter of Japanese WW2 detainee searches for clues about his life

NHK World
2018-03-14

Fumio Kanda

The life of a Japanese man who went to the US in search of opportunity was torn apart by World War Two. His life has since been clouded in mystery. Now his granddaughter is on a quest to trace his roots, and connect the pieces of his life.

Growing up, Regina Boone always felt a sense of mystery about her grandfather. But when she turned 13, her father Raymond finally revealed the news. “He just said that ‘You have a Japanese grandfather. I am half-Japanese and half-Black.’ And that makes me one-quarter Japanese. But I didn’t want to make my father uncomfortable. So I stepped back from asking more questions,” she says.

Over the years, Regina’s curiosity grew. And a decade later, she received an old photograph from her father. It was of her grandfather. “It kind took my breath away, actually. Because I didn’t know what to expect,” she says…

View the story here.

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I’m Raising A Biracial Daughter In Japan, Where She’s Surrounded By Blackface

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Media Archive on 2018-03-17 23:56Z by Steven

I’m Raising A Biracial Daughter In Japan, Where She’s Surrounded By Blackface

The Huffington Post
2018-03-05

Tracy Jones, Guest Writer


Tracy Jones
Me, my wife, Haruki, and daughter, Kantra.

I live in Tokyo, in a homogenous society where 98.5 percent of the population is Japanese. My wife Haruki is Japanese, and my 4-year-old daughter Kantra is the only black girl in her preschool class. I remember when the Japanese delivery nurse called her Halle Berry immediately after my wife gave birth to her.

They were the first words my daughter ever heard. When the nurse sensed my confusion, she tried to improve her comment: “Naomi Campbell?”

Kantra was born in the summer of 2013. As a stay-at-home dad, I used online compilations of Sesame Street to teach her the alphabet, colors, shapes and numbers in English. I thought about getting a TV, but my wife explained to me that Japanese television programs regularly use blackface. Minus watching Japanese TV when visiting my in-laws, I never paid it much attention.

I moved to Japan in 2011 and for the first two years, I couldn’t figure out if I was insane or if Japan was like America where, as a black person, I was accustomed to sensing white fear and the possible danger of it harming my body…

Read the entire article here.

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What it means to be a mixed-race model in Japan

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Interviews, Media Archive, Videos on 2017-11-27 02:25Z by Steven

What it means to be a mixed-race model in Japan

CNN Style
Cable News Network (CNN)
2017-11-24

Writers:

Stephy Chung, CNN
Junko Ogura, CNN

Contributors:

Momo Moussa, CNN
Tomo Umewaka, CNN

For 18-year-old model Rina Fukushi, Tokyo is home. But growing up as a mixed-race child in Japan wasn’t always easy. With a Japanese-American father and a Filipina mother, Fukushi was one of a growing number of biracial individuals identifying as “hafu” — a phonetic play on the English word “half.”

“I was teased when I was in elementary and junior high school because I looked foreign,” she recalled in an interview with CNN.

The term hafu was first popularized in the 1970s as Japan loosened its approach towards foreign residents, giving them better access to public housing, insurance and job opportunities. An increased number of US soldiers in the country also contributed to an upsurge in mixed-race marriages and biracial children.

Despite increasingly progressive attitudes towards race in Japan, the country’s immigration numbers have remained comparatively low. Foreigners and their hafu children often live as outsiders, a topic explored in the 2011 documentary “Hafu: The Mixed Race Experience in Japan.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Mixed Race in Asia: Past, Present and Future

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Books, History, Media Archive, Oceania, Social Science on 2017-07-21 18:58Z by Steven

Mixed Race in Asia: Past, Present and Future

Routledge
2017-06-15
250 pages
1 B/W Illus.
Hardback ISBN: 9781138282674
eBook ISBN: 9781315270579

Edited by:

Zarine L. Rocha, Managing Editor
Current Sociology and the Asian Journal of Social Science

Farida Fozdar, Associate Professor in Anthropology and Sociology
University of Western Australia

Mixed racial and ethnic identities are topics of increasing interest around the world, yet studies of mixed race in Asia are rare, despite its particular salience for Asian societies.

Mixed Race in Asia seeks to reorient the field to focus on Asia, looking specifically at mixed race in China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and India. Through these varied case studies, this collection presents an insightful exploration of race, ethnicity, mixedness and belonging, both in the past and present. The thematic range of the chapters is broad, covering the complexity of lived mixed race experiences, the structural forces of particular colonial and post-colonial environments and political regimes, and historical influences on contemporary identities and cultural expressions of mixedness.

Adding significant richness and depth to existing theoretical frameworks, this enlightening volume develops markedly different understandings of, and recognizes nuances around, what it means to be mixed, practically, theoretically, linguistically and historically. It will appeal to undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as postdoctoral and other researchers interested in fields such as Race and Ethnicity, Sociology and Asian Studies.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction: Mixed Race in Asia / Zarine L. Rocha and Farida Fozdar
  • Section One: China and Vietnam
    • Chapter One: “A Class by Themselves”: Battles over Eurasian Schooling in Late-19th-Century Shanghai / Emma J. Teng
    • Chapter Two: Mixing Blood and Race: Representing Hunxue in Contemporary China / Cathryn Clayton
    • Chapter Three: Métis of Vietnam: An Historical Perspective on Mixed-Race Children from the French Colonial Period / Christina Firpo
  • Section Two: South Korea and Japan
    • Chapter Four: Developing bilingualism in a largely monolingual society: Southeast Asian marriage migrants and multicultural families in South Korea / Mi Yung Park
    • Chapter Five: Haafu Identity in Japan: half, mixed or double? / Alexandra Shaitan and Lisa J. McEntee-Atalianis
    • Chapter Six: Claiming Japaneseness: recognition, privilege and status in Japanese-Filipino ‘mixed’ ethnic identity constructions / Fiona-Katharina Seiger
  • Section Three: Malaysia and Singapore
    • Chapter Seven: Being “Mixed” in Malaysia: Perspectives on Ethnic Diversity / Caryn Lim
    • Chapter Eight: Chinese, Indians and the Grey Space in between: Acceptance of Malaysian Chindians in a plural society / Rona Chandran
    • Chapter Nine: ‘Our Chinese’: The Mixedness of Peranakan Chinese Identities in Kelantan, Malaysia / Pue Giok Hun
    • Chapter Ten: Eurasian as Multiracial: mixed race, gendered categories and identity in Singapore / Zarine L. Rocha
  • Section Four: India and Indonesia
    • Chapter Eleven: Is the Anglo-Indian ‘Identity Crisis’ a Myth? / Robyn Andrews
    • Chapter Twelve: When Hybridity Encounters Hindu Purity Fetish: Anglo-Indian Lived Experiences in an Indian Railway Town / Anjali Gera Roy
    • Chapter Thirteen: Sometimes white, sometimes Asian: Boundary-making among transnational mixed descent youth at an international school in Indonesia / Danau Tanu
    • Chapter Fourteen: Class, Race and Being Indo (Eurasian) in Colonial and Postcolonial Indonesia / Ros Hewett
  • Afterword / Paul Spickard
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The Discourse of Konketsuji: Racialized Representations of Biracial Japanese Children in the 1950s

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Communications/Media Studies, Dissertations, History, Media Archive on 2017-07-11 00:23Z by Steven

The Discourse of Konketsuji: Racialized Representations of Biracial Japanese Children in the 1950s

University of Toronto
March 2017
79 pages

Zachery Anthony Nelson

A thesis submitted in conformity with the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts, Department of East Asian Studies University of Toronto

This study examines textual representations of biracial Japanese children as featured in the print media of 1950s Japan. Attention is paid to the complex discursive process of racialization that produced knowledge of biracial Japanese under the label konketsuji or “mixed-blood child.” This “discourse of konketsuji” is deconstructed and analyzed towards the aim of illustrating how it functioned to disassociate the figure of the konketsuji from the category of “Japanese.” This study situates konketsuji and Japanese racial identity discourse into their proper historical contexts before transitioning to an analysis of primary source material. The discourse of konketsuji is revealed as having racialized konketsuji in a plural and complex manner. Racializing statements about konketsuji referenced difference in phenotype, social origin, political potential, birth circumstances, mentality, intellect, and cultural proclivities so as to position biracial children as a group outside a normative construction of Japanese raciality.

Read the entire thesis here.

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Japan Reborn: Mixed-Race Children, Eugenic Nationalism, and the Politics of Sex after World War II

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Dissertations, History, Media Archive, United States on 2017-04-06 01:29Z by Steven

Japan Reborn: Mixed-Race Children, Eugenic Nationalism, and the Politics of Sex after World War II

Columbia University
2015
DOI: 10.7916/D83F4NS4

Kristin A. Roebuck, ‎Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in History
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

In April 1952, Japan emerged from Allied occupation free, peaceful, and democratic.

Japan’s presses marked the occasion by declaring a state of crisis: the “konketsuji [mixed-blood children] crisis.” By all accounts, Allied soldiers had sired and abandoned two hundred thousand “mixed-blood” orphans in Japan. However, Chapter One reveals this to be a fabricated crisis or “moral panic.” Surveys found only a few thousand konketsuji nationwide, very few of them orphans. Yet these discoveries did little to change the tenor of “crisis.” Opposition politicians deployed wrath and fear over “blood mixing” to discredit the dominant Liberal Party and its alliance with the United States. They were abetted by an array of postwar activists who used the “crisis” to reconstruct Japanese nationalism, laid low by defeat and occupation, on a new basis: the “pure” race rather than the failed state.

Chapter Two explores how the panic over “blood mixing” inevitably embroiled not just children but women as well. Japanese women were subject to intense pressures to eschew sex and family formation with Western men, and to abort “mixed” fetuses on eugenic grounds rather than bear them to term. 1948 marked the beginning of the end of criminal prosecution of abortion in Japan. The law that inaugurated this shift, the Eugenic Protection Law (EPL), is generally viewed as an advancement in women’s rights, despite the fact that the EPL envisioned and promoted the use of abortion as a means of managing the “quality and quantity” of Japan’s population.

Scholarship on the links between eugenics and the decriminalization of abortion in Japan is vast, but scholars have yet to probe deeply into how eugenic abortion was applied to control—or forestall—“race mixing” after the war. Although it was politically impossible for the government to impose abortions outright on women who might be pregnant with the children of Japan’s conquerors, such women were nonetheless targeted for eugenic intervention. For these women, abortion was not an option granted in a liberal democracy concerned with women’s rights. Abortion was an imperative imposed by a diverse array of governmental and non-governmental actors united behind an ideology of “pure blood.”

Chapter Three explains how postwar scientific presses framed konketsuji born in the wake of World War II as an unprecedented presence. Geneticists, physical anthropologists, clinicians, and other researchers from the late 1940s through the 1970s deployed a “system of silences” to erase Japan’s prewar konketsuji community from view. They thereby not only constructed the Japanese as a racial community bounded by “pure blood,” but denied that the racialized nation ever had or ever could assimilate foreign elements. Scientific spokesmen effected the discursive purification of Japan despite resistance from “mixed-blood” adults who organized to contest the rising tide of racial nationalism. In the process, these scientists severely undercut the “mixed” community’s advocacy of a civically rather than biologically constituted nation.

Chapter Four contrasts the decline of race science and eugenics in the West with their efflorescence in postwar Japan, where conditions of occupation heightened the relevance of racial eugenics as a prescription for national unity and strength. It is well known that Anglophone genetics and physical anthropology were led at the mid-century by immigrants and minorities, prominently including Theodosius Dobzhansky and Ashley Montagu. Yet without comparative analysis, it is difficult to weigh the significance of this fact, or of the fact that minorities did not lead the Japanese sciences. Japanese geneticists and anthropologists who identified as having “pure Japanese blood” never questioned that biopolitical category or the costs it imposed on those it excluded.

I argue that who practiced science counts for much more than is allowed by objectivist narratives of self-correcting scientific “progress.” My project explains for the first time why racial nationalism and an ethos of ethnic cleansing triumphed in Japan at the very moment these forces receded in other contexts.

Embargoed until 2017-06-30.

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Looking at Okinawa: Race, Gender, Nation

Posted in Arts, Asian Diaspora, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Live Events, United States on 2017-03-31 00:10Z by Steven

Looking at Okinawa: Race, Gender, Nation

2017 UC Berkeley Graduate Student Conference: On Belonging: Gender, Sexuality and Identity in Japan
University of California, Berkeley
Moffitt Undergraduate Library
340 (BCMN Commons Seminar Room)
Berkeley, California
2017-04-09, 10:00-16:00 PDT (Local Time)

Ishikawa Mao, Photographer

Wendy Matsumura, Assistant Professor of Professor
University of California, San Diego

Annmaria Shimabuku, Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies
New York University

This is a one-day event being held in order to create a dialogue on issues of race and gender in the study of Okinawa, and to contemplate the relationship between the study of Japan and the study of Okinawa.

We will initiate this dialogue with a lecture by photographer Ishikawa Mao, whose work explores the complex relationships of gender, race, and national identity in Okinawa and Japan. Her works have included including candid photographs of African American servicemen and their Okinawan and Japanese wives and girlfriends in Okinawa in the 1970s; and portraits of Japanese and Okinawan people with the national flag of Japan, interacting with it in various ways to demonstrate their complicated and often troubled relationship with the nation of Japan. Ishikawa is to give a slide show and talk about her work, focussing on her photographs of African American servicemen.

In the afternoon, we will hold a discussion between scholars, students, and members of the public, to be led by Professor Wendy Matsumura (UCSD) and Professor Annmaria Shimabuku (NYU), who, from the fields of cultural studies, sociology, and history, have been engaged in thinking about the role of Okinawan studies and its place in Japanese studies more generally. We will discuss what it means to study Okinawa in the American academy, and, drawing on Ishikawa’s work, we will examine the complicated role of race and gender in Japanese studies and Okinawan studies.

Sponsored by: Center for Japanese Studies (CJS), Townsend Center for the Humanities, Department of African American Studies, Asian American Studies, Department of Ethnic Studies, Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, Center for Race and Gender, and Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures

For more information, click here.

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mao ishikawa’s stunning photographs of her friends in 70s okinawa

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Interviews, Media Archive on 2017-03-29 15:22Z by Steven

mao ishikawa’s stunning photographs of her friends in 70s okinawa

i-D
2017-03-27

Paige Silveria

The cult Japanese photographer gives her first-ever English language interview, about her new book ‘Red Flower, The Women of Okinawa.’

This Tuesday, at New York’s subterranean photobook shop Dashwood, cult Japanese photographer Mao Ishikawa is signing her first monograph to be published in the United States: Red Flower, The Women of Okinawa. The newly released silkscreen book features striking black-and-white photographs of Mao and her girl friends, who worked in segregated GI bars, along with their boyfriends – the black army soldiers who frequented those bars in American-occupied Okinawa from 1975 to 1977. The images of carefree 20-year-olds as they laugh and cry, drink and fall in love, contrast sharply with the divisive tensions of the militarily controlled island…

Read the entire article here.

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