Islands of Discontent: Okinawan Responses to Japanese and American Power

Front Cover
Laura Elizabeth Hein, Mark Selden
Rowman & Littlefield, 2003 - History - 322 pages
Exploring contemporary Okinawan culture, politics, and historical memory, this book argues that the long Japanese tradition of defining Okinawa as a subordinate and peripheral part of Japan means that all claims of Okinawan distinctiveness necessarily become part of the larger debate over contemporary identity. The contributors trace the renascence of the debate in the burst of cultural and political expression that has flowered in the past decade, with the rapid growth of local museums and memorials and the huge increase in popularity of distinctive Okinawan music and literature, as well as in political movements targeting both U.S. military bases and Japanese national policy on ecological, developmental, and equity grounds. A key strategy for claiming and shaping Okinawan identity is the mobilization of historical memory of the recent past, particularly of the violent subordination of Okinawan interests to those of the Japanese and American governments in war and occupation. Its intertwining themes of historical memory, nationality, ethnicity, and cultural conflict in contemporary society address central issues in anthropology, sociology, contemporary history, Asian Studies, international relations, cultural studies, and post-colonial studies. Contributions by: Matt Allen, Linda Isako Angst, Asato Eiko, Gerald Figal, Aaron Gerow, Laura Hein, Michael Molasky, Steve Rabson, James E. Roberson, Mark Selden, and Julia Yonetani.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Selected pages


Culture Power and Identity in Contemporary Okinawa
Wolves at the Back Door Remembering the Kumejima Massacres
Waging Peace on Okinawa
Memories of Okinawa Life and Times in the Greater Osaka Diaspora
The Rape of a Schoolgirl Discourses of Power and Gendered National Identity in Okinawa
Medoruma Shun The Writer as Public Intellectual in Okinawa Today
Uchina Pop Place and Identity in Contemporary Okinawan Popular Music
Okinawan Identity and Resistance to Militarization and Maldevelopment
Future Assets but at What Price? The Okinawa Initiative Debate
From the National Gaze to Multiple Gazes Representations of Okinawa in Recent Japanese Cinema
About the Contributors

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2003)

Laura Hein is associate professor of history at Northwestern University. Mark Selden is professor of sociology and history at Binghamton University and professorial associate in the East Asia Program at Cornell University.

Bibliographic information