By Michael S. Molasky

How do the japanese and Okinawans take into account career? How is reminiscence built and transmitted? Michael Molasky explores those questions via cautious, delicate readings of literature from mainland Japan and Okinawa. This booklet sheds mild on tricky problems with conflict, violence, prostitution, colonialism and post-colonialism within the context of the Occupations of Japan and Okinawa.

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Additional resources for The American Occupation of Japan and Okinawa: Literature and Memory (Asia's Transformations)

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The names of the two Americans—Mr. Williams and Miss Emily—are always followed by suffixes (Uiriamu-shi and Emirii-jō) that accord the Americans respect and a lofty distance from the Japanese teachers. The naming of characters in “The American School” thus aids the story’s construction of a hierarchy in which Americans are placed above Japanese regardless of gender, and where men are placed above women within each national category. That the categories of gender and nationality articulate within a hierarchy is itself testimony to the difficulty of theorizing identity without reference to relations of power.

Nevertheless, intimations of Isa’s sexual subjugation to Emily (210–13; 133–34) serve as reminders that American women can also play the dominator’s role, a role normally monopolized by men in Japanese occupation literature. Isa seems incapable of recognizing that the fear and loathing which the English language evokes for him derive not from the language itself but rather from the relations of domination signified by English. Michiko clearly does not evoke for Isa the aesthetic (and erotic) qualities of English that he perceives through the speech of American females.

S. 52 Finally, in December 1969 THE AMERICAN OCCUPATION OF JAPAN AND OKINAWA 23 Prime Minister Satō and President Nixon reached an agreement for Okinawa’s return to Japanese prefectural status, which took place on 15 May 1972. Thereafter, Okinawans again began using yen instead of dollars (although the base towns continued operating largely on a dollar economy through the early 1980s); in July 1977 they started driving on the left-hand side of the road instead of the right (which caused numerous traffic accidents until drivers grew accustomed to the new order); and the local economy was slowly weaned from its heavy reliance on the American bases as Japanese investment poured in.

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