Japanese War Brides Analysis

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Mainstream media portrayal of Japanese women marrying foreign men arguably starts with the rise of ‘war brides’ in the post-war era. These ‘war brides’ were Japanese women labeled as such due to their marriages with servicemen, mostly American GIs, “during the occupation period of Japan and the succeeding years in the 1950s, as well as in the early 1960s”. In his examination of media representations of ‘war brides’ from the late 1940s to the 1970s, Masashi Iwasa (2016) highlights the largely negative depiction of ‘war brides’ until around the 1970s. He attributes this to the post-war Japanese society’s “conservative attitude toward miscegenation” and “general hatred toward Americans as a former enemy and current occupier”. This view is supported by Masako Nakamura (2010), who notes how ‘war brides’ were “lumped together as prostitutes and traitors” in post-war Japanese media, and their fraternization with Americans “became a symbol of Japan’s defeat and humiliation”. ‘War brides’ were even depicted as threats to “Japanese men’s masculinity, patriarchal authority…and the purity of the Japanese “Yamato”…show more content…
It can thus be surmised that such negative depictions of Japanese ‘war brides’ are rooted in the context of post-war Japan, where the ‘betrayal’ by young Japanese women, seemingly in recognition of the socio-economic superiority of the American occupiers, further underscored the “sense of defeat and impotence shared by the
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