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The Community of Nuchi Du Takara ("Life Is the Ultimate Treasure") in Postwar Okinawa

Local Subjectivity within and against Empire

Subjects: Asian Studies, Japan, History, Asian and Southeast Asian History, Political Science, International Relations
Paperback : 9780472057146, 288 pages, 12 images, 6 x 9, February 2025
Hardcover : 9780472077144, 288 pages, 12 images, 6 x 9, February 2025
Ebook : 9780472222025, 288 pages, 12 images, 6 x 9, February 2025
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Explores the conflict between Okinawans and the post-WWII US-Japan military alliance through the concept of nuchi du takara

Table of contents

Part I. Anti-base Struggles in Henoko and the Formation of the Community of Nuchi Du Takara by the Okinawan Multitude
Introduction to Part I
Chapter 1: Anti-base Struggles in Henoko, 2004-2023                                               
Chapter 2: Protest as a Life-Form of the Okinawan Multitude: Internal Workings of the Community of Nuchi Du Takara
Conclusion to Part 1
Part II . Money and Taboo: Okinawan Subjectivity as “a Changing Same” and the Construction of the Community of Nuchi Du Takara
Introduction to Part II
Chapter 3: Ambivalence toward the U.S. Military: Formation of the Androcentric Community by the Okinawan “People” (1945-1972)
Chapter 4: Money and the Development of Okinawan Citizenship in Post-Reversion Okinawa (1970s-1990s)
Conclusion to Part II
Part III. Empire in the Asia-Pacific Region: Between American/Global and Japanese/National
Introduction to Part III
Chapter 5: American/Global/Postmodern Tendencies of Empire: Five Historical Moments of Its Formation and Transformation
Chapter 6: Dojin and Okinawa: Official Nationalism v.1, v.2, and v.3
Conclusion to Part III
Part IV. A Paradigm beyond Self and Other: The Okinawan Multitude within and against Empire in the Asia-Pacific Region
Introduction to Part IV
Chapter 7: The Mimetic Production of the Okinawan Multitude in the Planetary Time-Space                                                                                          Chapter 8: Conclusion: Collective Security from an Okinawan Perspective



Against the background of the prolonged presence of the US military in post–World War II Okinawa, The Community of Nuchi Du Takara (“Life Is the Ultimate Treasure”) in Postwar Okinawa explores the conflict between Okinawa and the US-Japan alliance. Inoue examines how Okinawan activists, artists, writers, and others have resisted US military presence, particularly the planned construction of a new military facility in northern Okinawa. In so doing, however, Inoue also underscores something in postwar Okinawa that one fails to grasp if one approaches it solely through the lens of resistance or protest. In historically and ethnographically grappling with this “something,” he develops a local notion of nuchi du takara (“life is the ultimate treasure”) into an analytical concept. Inoue shows how nuchi du takara has functioned as a cultural cushion inserted between the constituent power of Okinawan social actors from below and the constituted power of the US-Japan alliance from above; it has helped Okinawan social actors externally engage in complex negotiations—compromises and concessions as well as resistances and protests—vis-à-vis Washington and Tokyo, a process involving the development of the internal capacity of their community to embrace diverse and often contradictory attitudes toward the US military for small yet significant and incremental social changes if not revolution. Inoue’s grounded investigation points toward the possibility of a World Republic—an international politics built upon universal peace, global democracy, and shared affluence—against the current sovereignty of global capitalism.

Masamichi (Marro) Inoue is Professor of Japan Studies in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures at the University of Kentucky.