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Global Mixed Race$
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Rebecca C. King-O'Riain, Stephen Small, Minelle Mahtani, Miri Song, and Paul Spickard

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814770733

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814770733.001.0001

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Multiraciality and Migration

Multiraciality and Migration

Mixed-Race American Okinawans, 1945–1972

Chapter:
(p.167) 8 Multiraciality and Migration
Source:
Global Mixed Race
Author(s):

Lily Anne Yumi Welty

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814770733.003.0008

This chapter examines the multiracial American Japanese who grew up in Okinawa and the U.S. during the post-World War II period through to the 1970s. Multiracial Okinawans did not fit into the available racial categories in Okinawa because they were not accepted as Japanese, nor as Okinawans, even though many could not even speak English, but rather spoke Uchinaguchi (the Okinawan-Ryûkyûan indigenous language) or Japanese. These people were considered as an unsettling reminder to other Okinawans of the ever-present U.S. occupation, and as such they occupied a cultural third space that could be defined either on or off of the military bases. Within this third space, there were two tiers: those who could speak English and might have connections to the military bases, and those without access to the opportunities English and the bases provided.

Keywords:   multiracial American Japanese, Multiracial Okinawans, Uchinaguchi, cultural third space

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