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Cold War Encounters in US-Occupied Okinawa
Women, Militarized Domesticity, and Transnationalism in East Asia


  • Date Published: June 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107438811

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About the Authors
  • In this innovative and engaging study, Mire Koikari recasts the US occupation of Okinawa as a startling example of Cold War cultural interaction in which women's grassroots activities involving homes and homemaking played a pivotal role in reshaping the contours of US and Japanese imperialisms. Drawing on insights from studies of gender, Asia, America and postcolonialism, Koikari analyzes how the occupation sparked domestic education movements in Okinawa, mobilizing an assortment of women - home economists, military wives, club women, university students and homemakers - from the US, Okinawa and mainland Japan. These women went on to pursue a series of activities to promote 'modern domesticity' and build 'multicultural friendship' amidst intense militarization on the islands. As these women took their commitment to domesticity and multiculturalism onto the larger terrain of the Pacific, they came to articulate the complex intertwinement of gender, race, domesticity, empire and transnationality that existed during the Cold War.

    • Examines the role of gender, race and nation in the geopolitics of Cold War East Asia
    • Draws from extensive new archival research in both the US and Japan
    • Provides a fresh perspective on US-Asia relations during the Cold War
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Cold War Encounters is a closely argued study that explores the intersections of rhetoric, policy, and the ambitions of individual actors by analyzing a rich variety of cases.' Jan Bardsley, Japanese Studies

    '[Koikari's] book constitutes an important corrective to the existing literature on occupation-era Japan and Okinawa, and will hopefully usher in additional studies that follow its lead …' Ryan Masaaki Yokota, Social Science Japan Journal

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107438811
    • length: 247 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.38kg
    • contains: 13 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Rethinking gender and militarism in Cold War Okinawa
    2. Cultivating feminine affinity and affiliation with Americans: Cold War people-to-people encounters and women's club activities
    3. 'The world is our campus': domestic science and Cold War transnationalism between Michigan and Okinawa
    4. Building a bridge across the Pacific: domestic training and Cold War technical interchange between Okinawa and Hawaii
    5. Mobilizing homes, empowering women: Okinawan home economists and Cold War domestic education
    6. Cultivating feminine affinity and affiliation with the homeland: grassroots women's exchange between mainland Japan and Okinawa

  • Author

    Mire Koikari, University of Hawaii, Manoa
    Mire Koikari is Associate Professor of Women's Studies at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. Her research has focused on issues involving race, gender and empire, in particular the intertwined formation of American and Japanese feminisms against the backdrop of militarism and expansionism in Asia and the Pacific in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her teaching has focused on recasting the history of women and feminism in the transnational contexts of race, nation, military and empire, illuminating the varied and often surprising ways in which women, racial minorities, immigrants and colonized subjects negotiated with dominant dynamics of power. Her previous publications include Pedagogy of Democracy: Feminism and the Cold War in the US Occupation of Japan (2008), which examines the meanings and consequence of 'feminist reform' during the US occupation of mainland Japan. For her research on gender and militarism in Cold War Okinawa, which has culminated in the present volume, she has received a fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Asia Program, and another from the Japan Foundation. She is currently working on her new project which analyzes the process of remasculinization and remilitarization of Japan following the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters.

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