Few people can point to Okinawa on a map, yet this tiny island sitting between China and Japan was and continues to be one of the most crucial Asian nerve centers in all U.S. strategic defense. Ninety percent of all U.S. military forces in Japan are located on Okinawa, one of the Ryukyu Islands, and it was through these troops that the martial art of karate was exported to the U.S. In Okinawa: History of an Island People, noted Eastern affairs specialist George Kerr recounts the fascinating history of the island and its environs, from 1314 A.D. to the late twentieth century. First published in 1958, this edition features a new introduction and appendix by Okinawa history scholar Mitsugu Sakihara, making this the most comprehensive resource on the small, vital, and intriguing island of Okinawa.
"The first full–length monograph on the history of the Ryukyu Islands in any Western language…a standard work."—Pacific Affairs This book is the definitive work on Okinawan History and an important scholarly work in the fields of Japanese studies and Japanese history. Few people can point to Okinawa on a map, yet this tiny island sitting between China and Japan was and continues to be one of the most crucial Asian nerve centers in all U.S. strategic defense. Ninety percent of all U.S. military forces in Japan are located on Okinawa, one of the Ryukyu Islands, and it was through these troops that the martial art of karate was exported to the United States. In Okinawa: History of an Island People, noted Eastern affairs specialist George Kerr recounts the fascinating history of the island and its environs, from 1314 A.D. to the late twentieth century. The histories of Japan, Okinawa and the entire Pacific region are crucially intertwined so the study of this fascinating chain of islands is crucial to understanding all of East Asia. First published in 1958, this edition features a new introduction and appendix by Okinawa history scholar Mitsugu Sakihara, making this the most comprehensive resource on the small, vital, and intriguing island of Okinawa.
In 1995, an Okinawan schoolgirl was brutally raped by several U.S. servicemen. The incident triggered a chain of protests by women's groups, teachers' associations, labor unions, reformist political parties, and various grassroots organizations across Okinawa prefecture. Reaction to the crime culminated in a rally attended by some 85,000 people, including business leaders and conservative politicians who had seldom raised their voices against the U.S. military presence. Using this event as a point of reference, Inoue explores how Okinawans began to regard themselves less as a group of uniformly poor and oppressed people and more as a confident, diverse, middle-class citizenry embracing the ideals of democracy, human rights, and women's equality. As this identity of resistance has grown, however, the Japanese government has simultaneously worked to subvert it, pressuring Okinawans to support a continued U.S. presence. Inoue traces these developments as well, revealing the ways in which Tokyo has assisted the United States in implementing a system of governance that continues to expand through the full participation and cooperation of residents. Inoue deftly connects local social concerns with the larger political processes of the Japanese nation and the global strategies of the United States. He critically engages social-movement literature along with postmodern/structural/colonial discourses and popular currents and themes in Okinawan and Japanese studies. Rich in historical and ethnographical detail, this volume is a nuanced portrait of the impact of Japanese colonialism, World War II, and U.S. military bases on the formation of contemporary Okinawan identity.
The present volume is a collection of studies discussing trade and exchange relations across the East China Sea in the time period between c. 1400 and 1840. It introduces and analyses characteristics of trade and exchange, of economic and personal networks including knowledge transfer between East Asian countries, the importance of which has for a long time been underestimated or misinterpreted. The authors want to show that from the fifteenth to the early nineteenth century East Asia was far from being a group of more or less isolated states, but was characterised by multifarious contacts and connections.The countries or regions investigated include China, Japan, Korea, the Ryu-kyu- Islands and Tsushima. The contributions are subdivided according to topical themes and focus on sea and land routes, archaeology, trade and commodity exchange, knowledge transfer and exchange in the field of medicine (including physicians), and European images of parts of East Asia. Examining a great deal of sources ranging from diaries, letters, tomb inscriptions to commodity lists and government documents, this volume sheds more light into hitherto neglected aspects of maritime trade.
Japan and Okinawa provides an up-to-date, coherent and theoretically informed examination of Okinawa from the perspective of political economy and society. It combines a focus on structure and subjectivity as a way to analyze Okinawa, Okinawans and their relationship with global, regional and national structures. The book draws on a range of disciplines to provide new insights into both the contemporary and historical place of Okinawa and the Okinawans. The first half of the book examines Okinawa as part of the global, regional and national structures which impose constraints as well as offer opportunities to Okinawa. Leading specialists examine in detail topics such as Okinawa as a frontier region, Okinawa's Free Trade Zones and response to globalization, and Okinawa as part of the Japanese 'construction state', being particularly concerned with how Okinawa can chart its own course. The second half focuses on questions of identity and subjectivity, examining the multitude of vibrant cultural practices that breathe life into the meaning of being Okinawan and inform their social and political responses to structural constraints. The originality of this book can be found in its elucidation of how the structural constraints of Okinawa's precarious position in the world, the region and as part of Japan impact on subjectivity. For many Okinawans, in the past as now, acceptance and rationalization of their dependency has made them collaborators in their own subordination. At the same time, however, they have demonstrated a capacity to give voice to a separate identity, inscribing cultural practices marking them as different from mainland Japanese.
This collection gathers all the primary texts, some rare or hitherto unpublished, written on Ryukyu by Western visitors, scholars, and missionaries from the 16th century to the eve of World War II. This first set of five volumes covers the period up to the arrival of Commodore Perry in 1854. It is of interest to historians and anthropologists, as well as to everyone who wants to understand the background of Okinawa's persistent distinctiveness and of its complex relations with the Japanese governments.
Statecraft and Spectacle in East Asia is a multidisciplinary collection of essays that explores the intertwined histories of Taiwan and Japan across the long sweep of the early modern and modern periods. Drawing on new research by scholars from Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific, it moves beyond the conventional focus on the mechanics of the Japanese colonial state to provide new perspectives on a highly significant relationship that shaped the nature of the modern East Asian political landscape. Ranging from the seventeenth century to the chaotic aftermath of empire, the papers collected here consider Tokugawa Japan’s halting engagement with Taiwan as a key world historical moment that illuminates changing attitudes towards maritime expansion; the ways in which the colonial project was packaged and sold in print as well as image; and the complex legal discourses surrounding the making and unmaking of empire. Together they show how influence flowed both ways between Taiwan and Japan and the importance of inter-Asian interactions. This book was published as a special issue of Japanese Studies.