Blackness in Flux in Okinawa:

14 02 2011

And now for something completely different. The post here usually have to do with me directly, this one indirectly…

This is Black History month, so I thought this would be a good post. I went to a presentation the other day given by my friend who runs the blog Grits and Sushi. She and other Blasian woman gave this talk at UC Berkeley. Both of the women are from a Nubian father and a Okinawan mother. My friend was born here in the states and the other woman was born in Okinawa in Black Town. They have different perspective on life as a Blasian both here and Okinawa.

It was interesting listening to the angles of life in Okinawa. In a way it is said Okinawans are the Blacks of Japan. The Okinawans both looked down on people of color ( Blacks & Browns),  there and yet held them in high regard, do to their kindness to the Okinawan and the sameness of their suffering as second class people. The Okinawan women who had mixed children often had very hard lives and were considered trash by some.

Another guy who was also of mixed background had some very sad tales to tell of Okinawa during the occupations times. It is so sad people can be so heartless to others.

There will be a continuation of this presentation next month, this time there will be an added speaker, another friend of mine, who runs the blog Black Tokyo who spent time in Okinawa in the Marines. He will give his perspective on mixed relations there in Okinawa. Check out their blog for more info on this topic. It is a sad, educational and interesting topic.

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4 responses

14 02 2011
Accidental Aikidoist

Interesting topic. It’s funny to see how racism is not just something that is confined to the US. I’m of Asian descent myself – I’m Chinese. For some reason the Chinese aren’t as racist as a whole (or from what I’ve heard) as the Koreans and the Japanese do to people who are not like them.

Not to say there is racism everywhere anyway…

I worked for an Asian Pacific Islander (API) organization while as an undergrad so anything pertaining to issues regarding race/ethnicity and mixing with any of the countries from Asia I get interested in.

On a side note: Why use the term Nubian? Not all blacks are “Nubian”, since Nubia was the ancient name for a region that now is occupied by Sudan/Egypt (which in turn was carved up by the Europeans).

25 02 2011
Zen

Here is the link to the site with a follow up on Blackness in Flux:
Blackness in Flux in Okinawa: post-forum thoughts

http://gritsandsushi.com/2011/02/24/blackness-in-flux-in-okinawa-post-forum-thoughts/

14 02 2011
Zen

Ah yes, all peoples have had some form of racism ( and slavery) however, the US raised that to a new level of inhumanity.
Among the first Africans to come Japan as slaves of the Portuguese. They were however treated respectfully by the Japanese. It is said that one of the first of African blood became a ruler, the first Shogun.

All that changed when Admiral Perry came with his slaves and gun ships. They impressed on the Japanese that the Africans were less than human. Which is how they treated them. Japanese respect power, and copy it. They copied the haters from America, in dress, music, styles and hate.

There were Africans even in China. It is said that Lao Tzu was of African blood. There is a famous painting of a very famous general in China. Named Kuan Kung. He is painted seated with two other men standing with him. I had always heard that these two men were as brothers to him. One if them is very dark. I was told by my Shifu this man was a slave.

As far as my use of the word Nubien, it is not just about the region of Africa. I just think it is a cooler name than “Black”. It means dark skinned. I do not really care for the term. ” black” or referring to people by a color, yellow, red, white. This was developed by those haters who want to be “special”, we are special as humans, not as humans of any color. I do it because it is general term these days, but not preferred by me. Nor do I care African-American. Why do I have to be hyphened anything? I have never been to Africa! My blood line comes from Haiti, American Indian and Irish. The names and labeling of people is complex. I am an “American”, defining people by color/race is something the Haters cane up with. There is only one race, Human. Cut, shot, torn, blown-up we all bleed red. No food, no water, no air, we die. We all come into the world the same way, and no one gets out alive. According to DNA studies everyone is out of Africa. Where is the point of African-American everyone here in the states who is a citizen is African-American. The name label thing for Blacks is still an issue, Many do not like ether label and prefer Negro which is Spanish for Black so I do not get it. I guess that comes from being an enslaved people, one lacks a firm identity, at least here in the States. True Africans do not have that problem. They are Africans from whatever region.

So the word Nubian is my own personal little protest. I like the word Nubian (or the old term Moor), it just has a nicer/classier vibe 🙂 One does not associate the “media’s stereotype American black with it”
Some would argue but, whatever floats their boat, I do not care. Everyone had a thing…it’s my thing. End rant.

21 02 2011
Accidental Aikidoist

I’ll tip my hat to that my brother, Amen.

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