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

By Naoko Shibusawa

in the course of international struggle II, Japan was once vilified by way of the US as our hated enemy within the East. notwithstanding we wonderful "good Germans" from the Nazis, we condemned all jap indiscriminately as enthusiasts and savages. because the chilly struggle heated up, notwithstanding, the U.S. executive made up our minds to make Japan its bulwark opposed to communism in Asia.

yet how was once the yankee public made to just accept an alliance with Japan so quickly after the "Japs" have been demonized as subhuman, bucktoothed apes with Coke-bottle glasses? during this revelatory paintings, Naoko Shibusawa charts the extraordinary reversal from hated enemy to important best friend that happened within the 20 years after the struggle. whereas normal MacArthur's profession Forces pursued our nation's strategic ambitions in Japan, liberal American politicians, newshounds, and filmmakers pursued an both crucial, even though long-unrecognized, target: the dissemination of a brand new and palatable photograph of the japanese one of the American public.

With broad learn, from career memoirs to army documents, from court docket records to Hollywood movies, and from charity tasks to newspaper and journal articles, Shibusawa demonstrates how the evil enemy used to be rendered as a feminized, submissive state, as an immature adolescence that wanted America's benevolent hand to lead it towards democracy. apparently, Shibusawa finds how this obsession with race, gender, and adulthood mirrored America's personal anxieties approximately race relatives and fairness among the sexes within the postwar international. America's Geisha Ally is an exploration of the way belligerents reconcile themselves within the wake of struggle, but additionally bargains 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

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MacArthur was proud of his record there, especially in Occupied Japan, which had been under his direction. He pointed out, as he often did, the great progress made by the Japanese people in adopting democracy and asserted that democracy in Japan was likely to be permanent.

65 Hume and Annarino declared that Baby-san was a new postwar type of Japanese woman, not at all like the ones American servicemen expected— namely, the “‘Madame Butterfly’ type” with “an elaborate hairdo . . 67 Her face is oval. Her cheekbones are high. Her nose is pug. Her mouth is pouty. Her lips are a blazing scarlet, playing up what she judges from American movies to be the fashionable standard. Her hair is long and dark and slung into a peek-a-boo hair-do. Compared to American girls, she is short.

S. air raids that undoubtedly turned many of these children into orphans. Images of happy children with conquering soldiers are important after any hostilities. 55 As citizens of the conquering forces, Americans liked seeing the kindness and mercy of their soldiers. Highlighting their humanity after an armed conflict suggested that America’s soldiers, and by extension their nation, were reluctant killers—kind rather than heartless and unforgiving. 56 A few months later, images of smiling Japanese children posing with GIs were also reassuring because the children’s friendliness and openness meant that they saw the “good” within American soldiers, and thus the “good” in America even after Americans had rained mass death upon Japan.

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