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AlegalBiopolitics and the Unintelligibility of Okinawan Life$
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Annmaria M. Shimabuku

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823282661

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823282661.001.0001

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Okinawa, 1958–1972: The Subaltern Speaks

Okinawa, 1958–1972: The Subaltern Speaks

(p.88) Chapter 4 Okinawa, 1958–1972: The Subaltern Speaks

Annmaria M. Shimabuku

Fordham University Press

The period between 1958 and 1972 marks the full-fledged emergence of the movement to revert to the Japanese administration along with the emergence of the New Left both globally and in Okinawa. This chapter shows how the New Left developed useful critiques of the Old Left’s ethno-nationalism, but once again, failed to account for the radical heterogeneity of base town workers who were immune to the class-based politics of the “Japanese proletariat.” Some critical Marxist activists such as Kawada Yō and Matsushima Chōgi questioned middle-class assumptions implicit in the “Japanese proletariat.” Paying attention to Okinawa’s historical exclusion from the biopolitical state, Matsushima defined the “Okinawan proletariat” as the condition of a class that constantly fails to be represented by the state. Reading this insight alongside Spivak’s distinction between Darstellung and Vertretung, this chapter presents an allegorical reading of sex workers in reportage and film, and asks the ways it is possible to hear them speak. Instead of making their voices intelligible in terms of state representation, it reads them in the quality of their alienation from the state. It was in this quality that these purportedly “pro-American” collaborators turned against their clients and instigated the Koza Riot in 1970.

Keywords:   black power, Japanese documentary film, Koza Riot, Okinawan reversion movement, Gayatri Spivak

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