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Her father was in the military and was stationed at a Navy base in Sasebo, on the southernmost Japanese island of Kyushu, when he met Miyamoto's mother. They divorced when Miyamoto was one, and her father returned to the United States. As a child, she says, she remembers other children were hesitant to touch her for fear that her blackness might be contagious. Others refused to swim in the same pool with her. Miyamoto says she decided to enter the world of beauty pageants when a friend of hers, also mixed-race, committed suicide — which Miyamoto says was a direct result of the unique challenges faced by hafu in Japanese society.

The experiences of Miyamoto and her friend are common, says Megumi Nishikura, a film-maker whose father is Japanese, whose mother is Irish-American and whose recent film — titled Hafu — explores the lives of half-Japanese people. It gets very tiring after a while. In a society in which belonging to the in-group is the basis of social harmony, mixed-race Japanese are routinely made to feel like outsiders, intentionally or not, says Nishikura.

With mixed-race marriages still taboo in many places, hafu — though growing in number — remain rare, according to Nishikura.

Rebecca Chiyoko King-O'Riain

Rarer still are black hafu. Eric Robinson, who writes about his experience as an African-American living in Japan on the blog Black Tokyo, says challenges faced by black people in Japan are different, but not necessarily tougher, than those faced by black Americans. It is easy to view Miyamoto's selection to represent Japan in Miss Universe early next year as a sign the country is moving in a good direction.

But while many do see Miyamoto's selection as proof Japan is becoming more tolerant of difference, others are more sceptical. The other thing you have to remember is that she did not win Miss Universe Japan based on a public vote.

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Yamada's strength as a poet stems from the fact that she has managed to integrate both individual and collective aspects of her background, giving her poems a double impact. Her strong portrayal of individual and collective life experience stands out as a distinct thread in the fabric of contemporary literature by women.

I was simply describing what was happening to me, and my thoughts.

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But, in retrospect, the collection takes on a kind of expanded meaning about that period in our history. As invariably happens, because Japanese American internment became such an issue in American history, I suppose I will be forever identified as the author of Camp Notes. So, in some ways I keep producing to counteract that one image that gets set in the public mind. I think that it does speak to our present age very acutely. More to explore Recently published by academic presses.

Results by Title. In Pan American World Airways began recruiting Japanese American women to work as stewardesses on its Tokyo-bound flights and eventually its round-the-world flights as well.

Dr. Rebecca Chiyoko King-O’Riain

They were ostensibly hired for their Japanese-language skills, but few spoke Japanese fluently. As its corporate archives demonstrate, Pan Am marketed itself as an iconic American company pioneering new frontiers of race, language, and culture.


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Christine R. In interviews with the author, these women proudly recall their experiences as young women who left home to travel the globe with Pan American World Airways, forging their own cosmopolitan identities in the process. Airborne Dreams is the story of an unusual personnel program implemented by an American corporation intent on expanding and dominating the nascent market for international air travel.

That program reflected the Jet Age dreams of global mobility that excited postwar Americans, as well as the inequalities of gender, class, race, and ethnicity that constrained many of them.

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Lily Nakai and her family lived in southern California, where sometimes she and a friend dreamt of climbing the Hollywood sign that lit the night. She wondered if anything would ever be normal again. In this creative memoir, Lily Havey combines storytelling, watercolor, and personal photographs to recount her youth in two Japanese-American internment camps during World War II.

The paintings and her animated writing together pull us into a turbulent era when America disgracefully incarcerated, without due process, thousands of American citizens because of their race. These stories of love, loss, and discovery recall a girl balancing precariously between childhood and adolescence. In the late nineteenth century, midwifery was transformed into a new woman's profession as part of Japan's modernizing quest for empire.


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  8. With the rise of Japanese immigration to the United States, Japanese midwives sanba served as cultural brokers as well as birth attendants for Issei women. They actively participated in the creation of Japanese American community and culture as preservers of Japanese birthing customs and agents of cultural change.


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    The history of Japanese American midwifery reveals the dynamic relationship between this welfare state and the history of women and health. Midwives' individual stories, coupled with Susan L. Smith's astute analysis, demonstrate the impossibility of clearly separating domestic policy from foreign policy, public health from racial politics, medical care from women's care giving, and the history of women and health from national and international politics. By setting the history of Japanese American midwives in this larger context, Smith reveals little-known ethnic, racial, and regional aspects of women's history and the history of medicine.

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    Airborne Dreams. Camp Notes and Other Writings.