An Absent Presence: Japanese Americans in Postwar American Culture, 1945–1960 / Edition 1

An Absent Presence: Japanese Americans in Postwar American Culture, 1945–1960 / Edition 1

by Caroline Chung Simpson
     
 

ISBN-10: 0822327465

ISBN-13: 9780822327462

Pub. Date: 01/07/2002

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

There have been many studies on the forced relocation and internment of nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. But An Absent Presence is the first to focus on how popular representations of this unparalleled episode in U.S. history affected the formation of Cold War culture. Caroline Chung Simpson shows how the portrayal of this economic and

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Overview

There have been many studies on the forced relocation and internment of nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. But An Absent Presence is the first to focus on how popular representations of this unparalleled episode in U.S. history affected the formation of Cold War culture. Caroline Chung Simpson shows how the portrayal of this economic and social disenfranchisement haunted—and even shaped—the expression of American race relations and national identity throughout the middle of the twentieth century.
Simpson argues that when popular journals or social theorists engaged the topic of Japanese American history or identity in the Cold War era they did so in a manner that tended to efface or diminish the complexity of their political and historical experience. As a result, the shadowy figuration of Japanese American identity often took on the semblance of an “absent presence.” Individual chapters feature such topics as the case of the alleged Tokyo Rose, the Hiroshima Maidens Project, and Japanese war brides. Drawing on issues of race, gender, and nation, Simpson connects the internment episode to broader themes of postwar American culture, including the atomic bomb, McCarthyism, the crises of racial integration, and the anxiety over middle-class gender roles.
By recapturing and reexamining these vital flashpoints in the projection of Japanese American identity, Simpson fills a critical and historical void in a number of fields including Asian American studies, American studies, and Cold War history.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822327462
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
01/07/2002
Series:
New Americanists
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
5.76(w) x 9.28(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction1
1"That Faint and Elusive Insinuation": Remembering Internment and the Dawn of the Postwar12
2The Internment of Anthropology: Wartime Studies of Japanese Culture43
3How Rose Becomes Red: The Case of Tokyo Rose and the Postwar Beginnings of Cold War Culture76
4"A Mutual Brokenness": The Hiroshima Maidens Project, Japanese Americans, and American Motherhood113
5"Out of an Obscure Place": Japanese War Brides and Cultural Pluralism in the 1950s149
Epilogue186
Notes195
Bibliography216
Index226

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