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Pedagogy of Democracy: Feminism and the Cold War in the U.S. Occupation of Japan

Mire Koikari

Publication Year: 2008

Pedagogy of Democracy re-interprets the U.S. occupation of Japan from 1945 to 1952 as a problematic instance of Cold War feminist mobilization rather than a successful democratization of Japanese women as previously argued. By combining three fields of research—occupation, Cold War, and postcolonial feminist studies—and examining occupation records and other archival sources, Koikari argues that postwar gender reform was one of the Cold War containment strategies that undermined rather than promoted women’s political and economic rights.

Published by: Temple University Press


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pp. viii

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pp. ix-x

... course of researching and writing this book, I have accumulated debts to many individuals and institutions. At the University of Wisconsin at Madison, I benefited from criticism, support, and encouragement generously offered by Charles Camic. As dissertation advisor, he provided solid guidance at the earliest stage of the project, without which this book would never have happened. Elaine Marks, Mary Layoun, Gay ...

Note on Japanese Names

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pp. xi

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1. Introduction: Recasting Women in the U.S. Occupation of Japan

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pp. 1-31

World War II came to an end with Japan’s unconditional surrender. General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP), flew from the Philippines to Japan with a mission to occupy and demilitarize the defeated nation. Th e place and manner of MacArthur’s arrival seemed to signal the victor’s absolute confidence and unquestioned authority over its vanquished ...

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2. Feminism, Nationalism, and Colonial Genealogies: Women’s Enfranchisement and Constitutional Revision

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pp. 32-74

... opens with a chapter titled “Homecoming.” The time is 1945, and the setting is Japan, where Gordon is being sent as a member of the American occupation forces. The title is “Homecoming” because to her, Japan was home. Born in Vienna in 1923, Gordon spent her childhood, the late 1920s and 1930s, in Tokyo, prior to immigrating to the ...

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3. Feminism, Domestic Containment, and Cold War Citizenry

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pp. 75-120

... a converted cargo ship full of Americans, was nearing Tokyo Bay aft er a two-week journey from Seattle. On board was Carmen Johnson, an American woman in her mid-thirties on her way to join the U.S. occupation forces in Japan. Born into a Swedish-American lower-middle-class family in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, and raised in the Midwest, Johnson had no knowledge ...

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4. Women, the Cold War, and the Question of Resistance

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pp. 121-158

... the official newspaper of Fujin Minshu Kurabu (Women’s Democratic Club), published a piece, “Nosaka fujin ni kiku, soren no jitsujō (Interview with Mrs. Nosaka: Social Conditions in the Soviet Union).” Nosaka Ryō—once a teacher at a women’s high school, a veteran communist activist from before the war, and wife of Nosaka ...

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5. Making the Body Respectable: Cold War Containment and Regulation of Sexuality

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pp. 159-188

... Colonel D. D. Martin, together with several other colonels and a Signal Corps photographer, visited the Eighth Army Replacement Training Center in Atsugi. Th e purpose of the visit was to inspect a “medical museum” established to provide “venereal disease control instructions” to American soldiers, whose high infection rate had become a serious problem. At the museum, ...

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6. Conclusion

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pp. 189-192

reinterprets the occupiers’ gender reform as a case of Cold War mobilization of American and Japanese women with complex and contradictory results. During the occupation, American women reformers enthusiastically served as liberators of Japanese women and disseminators of Cold War femininity, domesticity, and ...


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pp. 193-214


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pp. 215-222


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pp. 223-226

E-ISBN-13: 9781592137022

Publication Year: 2008