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Alegal reveals modern Okinawa to be suspended in a perpetual state of exception: never has it been an official colony of Japan or the U.S. and never has it been an equal part of the Japanese state. What it is today is the site of one of the densest concentrations of U.S. military bases in the world—a truly exceptional condition stemming from Japan’s abhorrence toward the racialized sexual contact around bases in its mainland that factored into securing Okinawa as a U.S. military fortress. Annmaria Shimabuku merges Foucauldian biopolitics with Japanese Marxist theorizations of capitalism to trace the formation of a Japanese middle class that disciplined and secured the population from perceived threats, including this threat of miscegenation. Through close readings of poetry, reportage, film, and autobiography, Shimabuku reveals how it came to symbolize the infringement of Japanese sovereignty figured in terms of a patriarchal monoethnic state. This symbolism, however, could only be received with great ambivalence in Okinawa. As a borderland of the Pacific, racial politics internal to the U.S. collided with colonial politics internal to the Asia Pacific most intimately in base towns centered around facilitating encounters between G.I.s and Okinawan women. By examining the history, debates, and cultural representations surrounding these base towns and their actors from 1945 to 2015, Shimabuku shows how they continually failed to “become Japanese.” Instead, they epitomized Okinawa’s extreme volatility that danced on the razor’s edge between anarchistic insurgency and fascistic collaboration. What was at stake in their securitization was the attempt to contain Okinawa’s alegality itself—that is, a life force irreducible to the legal order. If biopolitics is the state’s attempt to monopolize life, then Alegal is a story about how these actors of the borderland reclaimed the power of life for themselves.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Half Title, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-xvi
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  1. Note on Translations and Romanizations
  2. pp. xvii-xviii
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  1. List of Commonly Used Acronyms and Abbreviations
  2. pp. xix-xx
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-14
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  1. 1. Japan in the 1950s: Symbolic Victims
  2. pp. 15-37
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  1. 2. Okinawa, 1945–1952: Allegories of Becoming
  2. pp. 38-64
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  1. 3. Okinawa, 1952–1958: Solidarity under the Cover of Darkness
  2. pp. 65-87
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  1. 4. Okinawa, 1958–1972: The Subaltern Speaks
  2. pp. 88-123
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  1. 5. Okinawa, 1972–1995: Life That Matters
  2. pp. 124-142
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  1. Conclusion
  2. pp. 143-146
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 147-148
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 149-194
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  1. Selected Bibliography
  2. pp. 195-210
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 211-220
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780823282685
Related ISBN
9780823282661
MARC Record
OCLC
1059450756
Pages
224
Launched on MUSE
2019-01-02
Language
English
Open Access
No
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