Center for East Asian Studies, University of Chicago: Tetsuo Najita Distinguished Lecture in Japanese Studies ft. Ichiro Tomiyama (Virtual Lecture)

Hyeonjin  Schubert's picture
February 21, 2022
Illinois, United States
Subject Fields: 
Area Studies, Japanese History / Studies, East Asian History / Studies, Asian History / Studies

"The Making of Okinawans: “Reversion” as “L’ensemble des efforts”

The year after Okinawa “reverted” to Japan in 1972, a children’s book entitled (The History of Okinawa (Okinawa no ayumi, Maki Shoten) was published. Its author was Kokuba Kōtarō, a member of the Central Committee of the Okinawa People’s Party (Okinawa jinmintō), who had fought against the appropriation of land by the American military. Amidst the maelstrom of Okinawa’s “reversion,” what was the “history of Okinawa” that Kokuba wanted to describe to children? Kokuba, who was known as both a pragmatic activist and a theorist, had written two essays in 1962. These were “Okinawa and American Imperialism: With a focus on Economic Policy” (“Okinawa to Amerika teikoku shūgi—Keizai seisaku wo chūshin ni,” Keizai hyōron 11:1) and “The Movement for Okinawan Reversion and the Leftist Parties (Kakushinseitō): On the Formation of National Consciousness” (Shisō no. 452). 

Professor Tomiyama describes “the making of Okinawans” as a nation or minzoku. In his view, here Kokuba was attempting to envision Okinawa’s past and its future. The reference to “l’ensemble des efforts” in his subtitle comes from a passage in Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth in which Fanon discusses national culture.

*This event is co-sponsored with the International House Global Voices Program.

*Venue: Virtual
* While attendance is free and open to the public, registration is required.
The registration link is provided as follows: 

Contact Info: 

Hyeonjin Schubert

Center Administrator, University of Chicago

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