Dancing with the Dead: Memory, Performance, and Everyday Life in Postwar Okinawa (Asia-Pacific: Culture, Politics, and Society)

Dancing with the Dead: Memory, Performance, and Everyday Life in Postwar Okinawa (Asia-Pacific: Culture, Politics, and Society)

Christopher T. Nelson


Challenging traditional understandings of time and reminiscence, Christopher T. Nelson examines how modern Okinawans have contested, appropriated, and reworked the burdens and chances of the previous. Nelson explores the paintings of a circle of Okinawan storytellers, ethnographers, musicians, and dancers deeply engaged with the legacies of a brutal jap colonial period, the virtually incredible devastation of the Pacific warfare, and a protracted American army profession that also casts its shadow over the islands. The ethnographic examine that Nelson carried out in Okinawa within the overdue 1990s—and his broader attempt to appreciate Okinawans’ serious and artistic struggles—was encouraged through his first stopover at to the islands in 1985 as a lieutenant within the U.S. Marine Corps.
Nelson analyzes the practices of particular performers, exhibiting how thoughts are recalled, our bodies remade, and activities rethought as Okinawans paintings via fragments of the earlier so one can reconstruct the cloth of lifestyle. Artists equivalent to the preferred Okinawan actor and storyteller Fujiki Hayato weave jointly genres together with eastern stand-up comedy, Okinawan celebratory rituals, and ethnographic reports of warfare reminiscence, encouraging their audiences to visualize alternative routes to dwell within the smooth international. Nelson seems on the efforts of performers and activists to wrest the Okinawan prior from romantic representations of idyllic rural existence within the jap media and reactionary appropriations of conventional values by way of conservative politicians. In his attention of eisā, the conventional dance for the lifeless, Nelson unearths a convention that reaches past the anticipated limitations of mourning and commemoration, because the dwelling and the useless come jointly to create a second within which a brand new global could be equipped from the ruins of the old.

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