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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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(p.143) Conclusion

Annmaria M. Shimabuku

Fordham University Press

The Conclusion re-engages the words of the so-called “father of Okinawan studies,” Ifa Fuyū, who wrote shortly before his death in 1947 that he was not in a position to “command [his] descendants to be in possession” of the ability to “determine their own fate.” Although this text is usually read as a lamentation of Okinawa’s inability to exercise self-determination, the Conclusion instead repositions it as a problem of how to think about the Okinawa’s alegality, or life unintelligible to the state. Specifically, it considers mixed-race life that was targeted as inimical to the monoethnic Japanese state (Chapter 1), and along with the contention surrounding the circumstances of its birth, continued to haunt Okinawa’s struggle with political representation from 1945 to 2015. It examines Ariko Ikehara’s essay on a mixed-race story in which a grandmother, by proxy of her daughter, claims her mixed granddaughter as a child of Okinawa. She exercises an autonomy irrespective of state recognition, and by doing so, reclaims an Okinawan life that matters.

Keywords:   Ifa Fuyū, Okinawan lives matter, Nakada Tsuyoshi

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