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Guide to Okinawa/Ryukyu-related resources

Newly Acquired eBooks: Spring 2021

by Unknown User on 2021-04-16T08:00:00-10:00 | 0 Comments
The List of Newly Available Resources in English for Research on Okinawa - Spring 2021

Notes: Those who are not affiliated with the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa do not have access to the resources. 

Ziomek, Kirsten L. "Lost Histories : Recovering the Lives of Japan’s Colonial Peoples." PhD diss., University of California, 2011.

"Examines material objects, visual imagery, and oral histories to help reconstruct the lives and movements of the four least examined groups of Japan's colonial subjects...the Ainu, Taiwan's indigenous people, Micronesians, and Okinawans...conveying the dynamic nature of an empire in motion and explaining how individuals navigated the variances of imperial life"

Yunshin, Hong. Comfort Stations” as Remembered by Okinawans During World War II. Translated by Robert Ricketts. Leiden ; Boston: Brill, 2020.


"Okinawa, the only Japanese prefecture invaded by US forces in 1945, was forced to accommodate 146 "military comfort stations" from 1941-45. How did Okinawans view these intrusive spaces and their impact on regional society? Interviews, survivor testimonies, and archival documents show that the Japanese army manipulated comfort stations to isolate local communities, facilitate "spy hunts," and foster a fear of rape by Americans that induced many Okinawans to choose death over life. The rape phobia spawned by the US occupation (1945-72) perpetuated that "politics of sex" into the postwar era. This study of war, sexual violence, and postcolonial memory sees the comfort stations as discursive spaces of remembrance where contradictory war experiences can be articulated, exchanged, and mutually reassessed."

Diamond, Jon. The Battle of Okinawa 1945 : the Pacific War’s Last Invasion : Rate Photographs from Wartime Archives.  Barnsley, South Yorkshire: Pen & Sword Military, 2019.


The American campaign to capture Okinawa, codename Operation ICEBERG was fought from 1 April to 22 June 1945. 350 miles from Japan, Okinawa was intended to be the staging area for the Allied invasion of the Japanese mainland.The Japanese Thirty Second Army defenders were on land and the Imperial Navy at sea fought tenaciously. They faced the US Tenth Army, comprising the US Army XXIV Corps and the US Marines' III Amphibious Corps.As the author of this superb Images of War book describes in words and pictures this was one of the most bitterly fought and costly campaigns of the Second World War. Ground troops faced an enemy whose vocabulary did not include 'surrender' and at sea the US Fifth Fleet, supported by elements of the Royal Navy, had to contend with kamikaze ('divine wind') attacks by suicide air attacks and over 700 explosive laden suicide boats.The Okinawa campaign is synonymous with American courage and determination to defeat a formidably ruthless enemy. The campaign was the subject of 'Hacksaw Ridge' , the recent Hollywood blockbuster - this is the real story.

Gaini, Firouz, and Helene Pristed Nielsen, eds. Gender and Island Communities.  London ;: Routledge, 2020.

Chapter 4, Fiouz Gaini, "Gender on the Rock"


This chapter discusses sexuality, gender and identity in Okinawa today. It critically investigates the relationship between gender formations and island places with focus on the processes of local cultural shift and resilience. It examines the gendered elements of memories, identities and future images of Okinawans. The aim is also to rethink myths and stereotypes about ‘southern’ islanders as exotic and childlike ‘savages’. The gendered impact of the occupation – with large US military bases – is deep, influencing young Okinawans’ views on sexuality, masculinity and family. Many young women are looking for foreign (American) boyfriends and husbands. Okinawan women want to break free from traditional gender and family roles and make their own decisions about their future life. The Okinawan chanpuru, indicating the hybridity of elements from two or more cultures (e.g. American and Japanese), is a key to understanding how Okinawans negotiate their gender identities. Okinawa is a ‘forgotten colony in a postcolonial world’, says Richard Falk, but it is also a forgotten site of resistance to US-steered neoliberal military-industrial development. Islands, like Okinawa, are liminal spaces, ‘good to think with’, for example in the quest for a better understanding of the connection between space, place and gender identity.

Nobbs-Thiessen, Ben. Landscape of Migration : Mobility and Environmental Change on Bolivia’s Tropical Frontier, 1952 to the Present.  Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2020.

Chapter Two. Military Bases and Rubber Tires: Okinawans and Mennonites at the Margins of Nation, Revolution, and Empire, 1952–1968


In the wake of a 1952 revolution, leaders of Bolivia's National Revolutionary Movement (MNR) embarked on a program of internal colonization known as the "March to the East." In an impoverished country dependent on highland mining, the MNR sought to convert the nation's vast "undeveloped" Amazonian frontier into farmland, hoping to achieve food security, territorial integrity, and demographic balance. To do so, they encouraged hundreds of thousands of Indigenous Bolivians to relocate from the "overcrowded" Andes to the tropical lowlands, but also welcomed surprising transnational migrant streams, including horse-and-buggy Mennonites from Mexico and displaced Okinawans from across the Pacific. Ben Nobbs-Thiessen details the multifaceted results of these migrations on the environment of the South American interior.

Rahul K. Gairola, and Sharanya Jayawickrama, eds. Memory, Trauma, Asia: Recall, Affect, and Orientalism in Contemporary Narratives. Milton: Taylor and Francis, 2021.

Kyle Ikeda, "Chapter 9 Transgenerational Hauntings in the Landscape of Okinawa, Japan: Medoruma Shun’s 'Army Messenger'"

MLA 8th Edition (Modern Language Assoc.)
Rahul K. Gairola, and Sharanya Jayawickrama. Memory, Trauma, Asia : Recall, Affect, and Orientalism in Contemporary Narratives. Routledge, 2021.

APA 7th Edition (American Psychological Assoc.)
Rahul K. Gairola, & Sharanya Jayawickrama. (2021). Memory, Trauma, Asia : Recall, Affect, and Orientalism in Contemporary Narratives. Routledg

Related: Ikeda, Kyle. Okinawan War Memory : Transgenerational Trauma and the War Fiction of Medoruma Shun.  New York: Routledge, 2014.

Zulueta, Johanna O. Transnational Identities on Okinawa’s Military Bases Invisible Armies.  1st ed. 2020. Singapore: Springer Singapore, 2020.


This book considers the role of civilian workers on U.S. bases in Okinawa, Japan and how transnational movements within East Asia during the Occupation period brought foreign workers, mostly from the Philippines, to work on these bases. Decades later, in a seeming “reproduction of base labour”, returnees of both Okinawan and Philippine heritage began occupying jobs on base as United States of Japan (USFJ) employees. The book investigates the role that ethnicity, nationality, and capital play in the lives of these base employees, and at the same time examines how Japanese and Okinawan identity/ies are formed and challenged. It offers a valuable resource for those interested in Japan and Okinawa, U.S. military basing, migration, and mixed ethnicities.

Mitchell, Jon. Poisoning the Pacific : the US Military’s Secret Dumping of Plutonium, Chemical Weapons, and Agent Orange.  Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2020.


For decades, US military operations have been contaminating the Pacific region with toxic substances, including plutonium, dioxin, and VX nerve agent. Hundreds of thousands of service members, their families, and residents have been exposed—but the United States has hidden the damage and refused to help victims. After World War II, the United States granted immunity to Japanese military scientists in exchange for their data on biological weapons tests conducted in China; in the following years, nuclear detonations in the Pacific obliterated entire islands and exposed thousands of Americans, Marshallese, Chamorros, and Japanese fishing crews to radioactive fallout. At the same time, the United States experimented with biological weapons on Okinawa and stockpiled the island with nuclear and chemical munitions, causing numerous accidents.... Accompanying this damage, US authorities have waged a campaign of cover-ups, lies, and attacks on the media, which the author has experienced firsthand in the form of military surveillance and attempts by the State Department to impede his work. Now, for the first time, this explosive book reveals the horrific extent of contamination in the Pacific and the lengths the Pentagon will go to conceal it.

Forgash, Rebecca. Intimacy Across the Fencelines : Sex, Marriage, and the U.S. Military in Okinawa.  Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2021.


Intimacy Across the Fencelines examines intimacy in the form of sexual encounters, dating, marriage, and family that involve US service members and local residents. Rebecca Forgash analyzes the stories of individual US service members and their Okinawan spouses and family members against the backdrop of Okinawan history, political and economic entanglements with Japan and the United States, and a longstanding anti-base movement. The narratives highlight the simultaneously repressive and creative power of military "fencelines," sites of symbolic negotiation and struggle involving gender, race, and class that divide the social landscape in communities that host US bases. Intimacy Across the Fencelines anchors the global US military complex and US-Japan security alliance in intimate everyday experiences and emotions, illuminating important aspects of the lived experiences of war and imperialism.

Short, Courtney A. Uniquely Okinawan : Determining Identity During the U.S. Wartime Occupation.  New York, NY: Fordham University Press,, 2020.


Uniquely Okinawan explores how American soldiers, sailors, and Marines considered race, ethnicity, and identity in the planning and execution of the wartime occupation of Okinawa, during and immediately after the Battle of Okinawa, 1945-46.


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