Abstract

This article examines domesticity as a crucial although hitherto under-studied site of cold war imperial dynamics in the US occupation of Okinawa (1945–1972). During the 1950s and 1960s, as violent confrontations erupted between the occupiers and the occupied over the militarization of Okinawa, the islanders witnessed a flourishing of domestic discourses and practices where American, Okinawan, and Japanese elite women jointly pursued a series of activities related to home and homemaking and (re)defined the occupation as an occasion for feminine affinity and affiliation among women of different racial and national backgrounds. Drawing on insights from studies on gender, empire, and the Cold War, this essay analyzes how domesticity functioned as the “engine” of nation and empire building in US-occupied Okinawa, recruiting women as feminized agents of Cold War American expansionism while at the same time concealing and even erasing the deeply political nature of their involvement.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2036
Print ISSN
1042-7961
Pages
pp. 112-136
Launched on MUSE
2015-12-22
Open Access
No
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