Add Okinawan history to the list of subjects I knew next to nothing about. Sure, I knew a basic, tree-top level history of the area but all of my knowledge was tied to WWII. So, in short, I know little. Like many of the other subjects I write about this one is complicated.
The harmony, or lack thereof, between the United States, Japan, and Okinawa is tenuous at best. US bases litter the entire island and with these bases come a lot of unsavory things especially those directed at women. Crime, prostitution, rape, and violence not to mention pollution dating back to the invasion.
Akemi Johnson’s “Night in the American Village” breaks down historical data as well as the idea of pro-base citizens, anti-base citizens, pro-Japan, anti-Japan, activists, families, survivors of the mayhem, etc.
This book gave me a general overview of what has gone down on the island since WWII. The good, the bad and the truly ugly. What is the solution? I don’t think anyone knows. The tentacles of the military are long and are now part of a new effort to develop a remote base for a new deepwater port. Needless to say, not everyone is so enthusiastic.
If you are like me, limited in our knowledge of this subject, then, by all means, pick this one up. Get it, read it.