June 1, 2018

Japanese Film about Senaga Kamejirō

Filed under: news,resources,Uncategorized — Tags: , , — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

A film titled “The man the United States feared most: Kamejirō” was released in Japan.

Title (rough translation): The Man the United States Feared the Most: (Senaga) Kamejirō” [= 米軍(アメリカ)が最も恐れた男:その名は、カメジロー」

The film’s Official Site: http://www.kamejiro.ayapro.ne.jp/

The site explains the life and beliefs of Senaga (瀬長) Kamejirō (亀次郎), who was born in 1907 in Tomigusuku, Okinawa and died in 2001. An article titled “Achieving Reversion: Protest and Authority in Okinawa, 1952-70” by Christopher Aldous (2003) explains why the US Government feared Kamejiō. Aldous writes,

The 1950s were a decade of harsh military rule in Okinawa, a period in which an embryonic reversion movement was quickly suppressed, when villages were levelled by bulldozers to make way for US military facilities, and, most revealingly, when a democratically elected mayor, Senaga Kamejiro, with radical left-wing credentials, was forced out of office by the American authorities. In short, it was a time of political polarization, caused above all by arbitrary, oppressive military rule.

Christopher Aldous, “Achieving Reversion: Protest and Authority in Okinawa, 1952-70,” Modern Asian Studies 37, no. 2 (May 2003): 485-508, https://doi.org/10.1017/S0026749X03002099. (To access the article, you need to have a UH ID and password).

The film is currently available only in Japan.

July 14, 2017

“Amerikayu”: Okinawa under the US occupation from 1950 to 1972

Filed under: resources — Tags: , — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

Amerika yu* / アメリカ世

*In Okinawa, “yo / 世” is pronounced as “yu / ゆ.”

After Japan surrendered to the Allied Forces at the end of WWII, first the United States Navy, then the United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Island (USCAR) occupied Okinawa until 1972.  The era Okinawa was under the US occupation is often referred as “Amerika yu / アメリカ世.” In 1972 Okinawa was returned to Japan (reversion) .  The era after the reversion is called “Yamato yu / 大和世 (やまとゆ).”

Yahoo! Japan has a page that provides interviews of those who lived in “Amerikayu.”

“Beikoku to ikita ‘Amerikayu’ to wa : fukki 45-nen no Okinawa o iku” / 米国と生きた「アメリカ世」とは:復帰45年の沖縄を行く (The page is written in Japanese)

picture of a musician named Kyan Marie

[Image source: https://news.yahoo.co.jp/feature/606]

On the page a video shows an interview of a musician named George Murasaki. Murasaki explained how he and other musicians such as Kyan Marie (喜屋武マリー) worked in clubs which served the US servicemen.

Professor James Roberson at the Kanazawa Seiryo University has written numerous articles on Okinawa under the US occupation, and the occupation’s influence in culture, especially in music.

Here are some articles written by Prof. Roberson:

  • Roberson, James E. (November 2011). “Doin’ our thing”: identity and colonial modernity in Okinawa rock music.” Popular Music and Society,  34(5): 593-620.
  • Roberson, James E. (July 2010). “Singing diaspora: Okinawan songs of home, departure, and return.” Identities,  17(4): 430-453. DOI: 10.1080/1070289X.2010.492330

Print resources at UH Mānoa Library

Sengo o tadoru : “Amerika yu” kara “Yamato no yu” e (=戦後をたどる : 「 アメリカ世」から「ヤマトの世」へ) / Naha-shi Rekishi Hakubutsukan hen.