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Exploring contemporary Okinawan culture, politics, and historical memory, this book argues that the long Japanese tradition of defining Okinawa as a subordinate and peripheral part of Japan means that all claims of Okinawan distinctiveness necessarily become part of the larger debate over contemporary identity. The contributors trace the renascence of the debate in the burst of cultural and political expression that has flowered in the past decade, with the rapid growth of local museums and memorials and the huge increase in popularity of distinctive Okinawan music and literature, as well as in political movements targeting both U.S. military bases and Japanese national policy on ecological, developmental, and equity grounds. A key strategy for claiming and shaping Okinawan identity is the mobilization of historical memory of the recent past, particularly of the violent subordination of Okinawan interests to those of the Japanese and American governments in war and occupation. Its intertwining themes of historical memory, nationality, ethnicity, and cultural conflict in contemporary society address central issues in anthropology, sociology, contemporary history, Asian Studies, international relations, cultural studies, and post-colonial studies.
Chapter 1 1 Introduction: Culture, Power and Identity in Contemporary Okinawa Part I 2 Making Sense of the Past Chapter 2 3 Wolves at the Back Door: Remembering the Kumejima Massacres Chapter 3 4 Waging Peace on Okinawa Chapter 4 5 Memories of Okinawa: Life and Times in the Greater 'saka Diaspora Chapter 5 6 The Rape of a Schoolgirl, Discourses of Power and Women's Lives in Okinawa Part II 7 Contemporary Culture, Identity, Resistance Chapter 6 8 Medoruma Shun: The Writer as Public Intellectual in Okinawa Today Chapter 7 9 Uchina PoP: Place and Identity in Contemporary Okinawan Popular Music Chapter 8 10 Okinawan Identity and Resistance to Militarization and Maldevelopment Chapter 9 11 Future Assets, But At What Price? The Okinawa Initiative Debate Chapter 10 12 From the National Gaze to Multiple Gazes: Representations of Okinawa in Recent Japanese Cinema