Download America's Geisha Ally: Reimagining the Japanese Enemy by Naoko Shibusawa PDF

By Naoko Shibusawa

in the course of global conflict II, Japan was once vilified by way of the US as our hated enemy within the East. even though we exclusive "good Germans" from the Nazis, we condemned all eastern indiscriminately as fans and savages. because the chilly conflict heated up, even if, the U.S. govt made up our minds to make Japan its bulwark opposed to communism in Asia.

yet how used to be the yank public made to simply accept an alliance with Japan so quickly after the "Japs" were demonized as subhuman, bucktoothed apes with Coke-bottle glasses? during this revelatory paintings, Naoko Shibusawa charts the outstanding reversal from hated enemy to invaluable best friend that happened within the 20 years after the warfare. whereas basic MacArthur's profession Forces pursued our nation's strategic pursuits in Japan, liberal American politicians, reporters, and filmmakers pursued an both crucial, although long-unrecognized, aim: the dissemination of a brand new and palatable picture of the japanese one of the American public.

With vast study, from profession memoirs to army documents, from courtroom files to Hollywood motion pictures, and from charity tasks to newspaper and journal articles, Shibusawa demonstrates how the evil enemy used to be rendered as a feminized, submissive kingdom, as an immature formative years that wanted America's benevolent hand to lead it towards democracy. curiously, Shibusawa finds how this obsession with race, gender, and adulthood mirrored America's personal anxieties approximately race family members and fairness among the sexes within the postwar global. America's Geisha Ally is an exploration of ways belligerents reconcile themselves within the wake of warfare, but additionally deals perception into how a brand new superpower adjusts to its position because the world's preeminent strength.

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Extra info for America's Geisha Ally: Reimagining the Japanese Enemy

Sample text

The Americans in the Occupation called the maids, clerical help, waitresses, or any other young Japanese women “Baby-san”—a name that combined an American pick-up line (“Hey, baby”) with an everyday Japanese title of respect. ” Crockett’s and other American women’s use of the term indicated their sense of privilege vis-à-vis Japanese women and reflected the American perception of Japanese women as emotionally volatile and childlike. Perhaps the lack of fluency in English among most Japanese women, which made them appear inarticulate and somewhat simple-minded to Americans, contributed to this impression.

Despite this prewar western view of Japanese infantilism as a more or less permanent state—the idea that the Japanese lived in a perpetual “toy-world”—there could be little romanticizing about Japan’s delicacy after the brutal and powerful war fought by the Japanese military. Postwar observers found it difficult to recapture a pristine, premodern Japan in the wake of the Japa- Women and Children First 25 nese military and industrial might that had waged war so impressively. Therefore, they stretched the pre-existing frame of reference about Japanese immaturity to accommodate a picture of a nation needing a political education and the Americans as teachers of democracy to young Japanese students.

Within these frames, they determined what they thought the Japanese were capable of doing, what privileges the Japanese deserved, and what their relationship with the Japanese should be. As in the past, they could not help relating the diminutive size of Japan and its people to concepts of capability and entitlement. Thus they interpreted Japan’s attempt to build an Asian-Pacific empire as insolent, as if the Japanese were acting too big for their britches—like boys playing at war with toy weapons.

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