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Militarized Currents

Militarized Currents: Toward a Decolonized Future in Asia and the Pacific

Setsu Shigematsu
Keith L. Camacho
Foreword by Cynthia Enloe
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 408
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  • Book Info
    Militarized Currents
    Book Description:

    Foregrounding indigenous and feminist scholarship, this collection analyzes militarization as an extension of colonialism from the late twentieth to the twenty-first century in Asia and the Pacific. The contributors theorize the effects of militarization across former and current territories of Japan and the United States, demonstrating that the relationship between militarization and colonial subordination shapes bodies of memory, knowledge, and resistance.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-7351-3
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-x)
    Cynthia Enloe

    Readers will be reading this collection of insightful articles when Iraq has slipped off the front pages of the world’s daily papers and faded from television news screens. Fewer people will be paying attention to Afghanistan’s ethnic and provincial groups as they continue to cope with the myriad effects of the multinational invasion. There will be a new U.S. president, and the governments of Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines more than likely will have changed hands. Perhaps even the talk of “empire” will have lost its popular cachet. This will be precisely the right time to read this book...

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. Introduction: Militarized Currents, Decolonizing Futures
    (pp. xv-xlviii)
    Setsu Shigematsu and Keith L. Camacho

    Militarized Currentsforges a collaboration that examines how militarization has constituted a structuring force that connects the histories of the Japanese and U.S. empires across the regions of Asia and the Pacific Islands. Foregrounding indigenous and feminist perspectives and the scholarship of people of color, this anthology analyzes militarization as anextension of colonialismand its gendered and racialized processes from the late-twentieth to the twenty-first century. By examining how former and current colonial territories of Japan and the United States, such as Guam, Okinawa, the Marshall Islands, the Philippines, and Korea, have been variously impacted by militarization, the articles...

  6. I Militarized Bodies of Memory

    • 1 Memorializing Pu‘uloa and Remembering Pearl Harbor
      (pp. 3-14)
      Jon Kamakawiwo‘ole Osorio

      Third-year Hawaiian-language students spend a good deal of both semesters reading and translating—or I should say, puzzling over—the stories, or mo‘olelo, fromLei Momi o Ewa, written by Sarah Keli‘ilolena Nākoa.² Of all the texts that confront and confound the Hawaiian-language student, this one indeed is the most difficult. Her writing is elegant and precise and filled with allusions and idioms that are not familiar to our generation of native Hawaiian people, whom we refer to as Kanaka Maoli.

      Auntie Sarah was born in 1911 in Waimalu, whose streams fed into Pu‘uloa, known to most people today as...

    • 2 Bikinis and Other S/pacific N/oceans
      (pp. 15-32)
      Teresia K. Teaiwa

      What does the word “bikini” evoke for you? A woman in a two-piece bathing suit, or a site for nuclear-weapons testing? A bikini-clad woman invigorated by solar radiation, or Bikini Islanders cancer ridden from nuclear radiation? The sensational bathing suit was named for Bikini Atoll. This was the site in the Marshall Islands for the testing of twenty-five nuclear bombs between 1946 and 1958. Bikini Islanders testify to the continuing history of colonialism and ecological racism in the Pacific basin. The bikini bathing suit is a testament to the recurring tourist trivialization of Pacific Islanders’ experience and existence. By drawing...

    • 3 The Exceptional Life and Death of a Chamorro Soldier: Tracing the Militarization of Desire in Guam, USA
      (pp. 33-62)
      Michael Lujan Bevacqua

      The banal ambiguity of Guam’s political existence, along with other sites such as Guantánamo Bay, either signals the coming of empire or already marks quietly its passage.¹ But, as opposed to Guantánamo Bay where the de- and reterritorialization of empire can be seen in much clearer and camera-ready terms, Guam is important precisely because its political existence represents forms of banal coloniality that continue to evade even the sharpest critical eyes.² It is spectrally indistinct, meaning that whatever specters of colonization or injustice it conjures up, they remain the type that do not haunt. If a brave new world of...

    • 4 Touring Military Masculinities: U.S.– Philippines Circuits of Sacrifice and Gratitude in Corregidor and Bataan
      (pp. 63-88)
      Vernadette Vicuña Gonzalez

      Corregidor Island and Bataan are the hallowed grounds of American World War II valor in the Philippines. Located in the northern region of the Philippines, these two sites, evocative of American World War II martial heroics, function to capture the tourist imagination and conceal histories of imperialism, military violence, and long-standing occupation. As such, they elude the kinds of critique that are more commonly leveled at active or former military bases, particularly feminist critiques of the sex industries that link both tourism and militarism in the Pacific.¹ Unlike their infamous comrades, the former Subic Bay Naval Base in Olongapo and...

  7. II Militarized Movements

    • 5 Rising Up from a Sea of Discontent: The 1970 Koza Uprising in U.S.-Occupied Okinawa
      (pp. 91-124)
      Wesley Iwao Ueunten

      I came across an account of a riot that occurred in Okinawa on December 20, 1970, that made its way to the front page of many major American newspapers but then suddenly disappeared from news coverage the next day. In the aftermath of the “Koza Riot,” or what I choose to call the “Koza Uprising” because it was not merely a chaotic and mindless fracas (a point about which I will address later; see Figure 5.1), over seventy cars owned by Americans and a few buildings on the huge Kadena Air Force Base, for which the town of Koza served...

    • 6 South Korean Movements against Militarized Sexual Labor
      (pp. 125-146)
      Katharine H. S. Moon

      As the twentieth century draws to a close, South Korean survivors of Japanese military sexual slavery (the Japanese “comfort system,” orchǒngsindae) and activists on their behalf have been noted as some of the most persuasive and omnipresent advocates of women’s human rights at international meetings and conferences. Within South Korea, graphic accounts of sexual brutality in wartime have become household news. In 1992, a television drama series,Eye of the Dawn, which depicted Korean resistance to Japanese colonial rule, not only included portraits of young women and girls being forcibly rounded up for sexual use in battlefronts, but also...

    • 7 Uncomfortable Fatigues: Chamorro Soldiers, Gendered Identities, and the Question of Decolonization in Guam
      (pp. 147-180)
      Keith L. Camacho and Laurel A. Monnig

      First Sergeant Olympio I. Magofña, a Chamorro recruiter in the U.S. Army, extols in the opening epigraph the virtues of Chamorros in U.S. military uniform—that is,maleChamorro soldierhood. As with every military around the globe, soldiering in colonial Guam is predominantly a male and an overtly masculine occupation. In the second quote above, John Benavente, a Chamorro man in his sixties, reflects on his life in fatigues as a retired U.S. Army enlisted soldier.¹ He is also a contemporary Chamorro rights activist, a path certainly not pursued by all Chamorro soldiers. Benavente shares his views in an intersiew...

    • 8 Militarized Filipino Masculinity and the Language of Citizenship in San Diego
      (pp. 181-202)
      Theresa Cenidoza Suarez

      This chapter focuses on the co-construction of masculinity and manhood among Filipino navy men and their families in San Diego, California, since the mid-1940s.¹ This multigenerational study is primarily based on original recorded interview data of approximately twenty Filipino navy families residing in San Diego, of which three members of each family (the male enlistee, the spouse, and an adult child) were interviewed, for a total of sixty participants whose affiliation with the U.S. Navy spans approximately fifty years. I examine the conditions of labor for Filipino navy men, how the work available to them is made to be undignified...

  8. III Hetero/Homo-sexualized Militaries

    • 9 On Romantic Love and Military Violence: Transpacific Imperialism and U.S.–Japan Complicity
      (pp. 205-222)
      Naoki Sakai

      From the perspective of colonialism, the international encounter between individuals is first brought about by the presence of the colonizing military. It is normally expected that the relationship between the dominating and the dominated ought to be governed by military administration and technology. In the twentieth century, colonial governance required new systems of administration, and the contact between individuals brought about by colonial rule occurred more and more within a militaristic administration, as the sphere of the military has become increasingly multilateral. That is to say that the system of total war was implemented into all spheres of citizens’ lives...

    • 10 Masculinity and Male-on-Male Sexual Violence in the Military: Focusing on the Absence of the Issue
      (pp. 223-250)
      Insook Kwon

      According to the 2004 National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK) investigative report on male-on-male sexual violence in the military, 15.4 percent of those surveyed responded affirmatively to having suffered from sexual violence, while 7.2 percent admitted to having inflicted sexual harm on someone else.¹ For more than fifty-five years, Korea’s conscription law has sustained an armed forces of more than six hundred thousand, and if we consider that male-on-male sexual violence in the military is not a recent occurrence, this means that an extraordinary number of men have continually been exposed to and have experienced sexual violence. Why is...

    • 11 Why Have the Japanese Self-Defense Forces Included Women? The State’s “Nonfeminist Reasons”
      (pp. 251-276)
      Fumika Sato

      This chapter analyzes why and how the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF) have included women over the past five decades. Although a large number of studies have examined the relationship between women and the military by feminist scholars around the world, little is known about the relationship between women and the SDF.¹ This is part of my larger research on the shifting gendered formations of the SDF.²

      Several Japanese feminists have made tremendous scholarly contributions to illuminate and critique women’s past roles in militarizing the Japanese Empire.³ The Japanese Empire drafted 143,000 Taiwanese and Korean men since 1943, but they never...

    • 12 Genealogies of Unbelonging: Amerasians and Transnational Adoptees as Legasies of U.S Militarism in South Korea
      (pp. 277-308)
      Patti Duncan

      “Which is better, Korea or America?” a woman asks a group of children. They respond in unison, “America! America!” The Amerasian children sit around a table in the True Love Mission, an alternative educational center run by Yon Ja Kim in South Korea, and represented in the documentary filmCamp Arirang. Kim is a former military camptown prostitute, and the children are primarily the mixed-race sons and daughters of current camptown women and U.S. soldiers.¹ Because discrimination against mixedrace people prevents them from attending public schools, Kim founded the True Love Mission, which she runs out of her home. Here,...

  9. Conclusion: From American Lake to a People’s Pacific in the Twenty–First Century
    (pp. 309-322)
    Walden Bello

    Within hours after a massive tsunami hit eleven countries bordering the Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004, U.S. Navy Orion reconnaissance aircraft began flying over the affected areas to deliver emergency relief and to assess the damage. This was the prelude to a massive expedition that eventually came to encompass over twenty-four U.S. warships, over one hundred aircraft, and some sixteen thousand military personnel—the largest U.S. military concentration in Asia since the end of the Vietnam War.¹

    The grand armada was put together by the Pacific Command, the largest and oldest of the U.S. military’s unified commands. Overshadowed for...

  10. Contributors
    (pp. 323-326)
  11. Index
    (pp. 327-355)