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English Journalから学べるもの

AmazonのUnlimitedで読んでいるので偉そうなことは言えないのですが、English Journalの最新号をようやく読みました。インタビューの一人として以下のドキュメンタリーを製作したLucy Craftさんがいます。

Japanese War Bridesと聞いてジュリー・オオツカさんの屋根裏の仏さまの世界で描かれた「写真花嫁」をドキュメンタリーにしたのかと思ったらLucyさんのは戦後すぐの話でした。3番目のインタビューは地味な人選になりやすいのですが視野を広げてくれるものばかりで個人的には楽しみです。まあ来月はGritのダックワースさんなので有名どころですが(笑)

七転び八起きをそのまま英語にしたFall Seven Times, Get Up Eight: The Japanese War Bridesというタイトルですが、米国の占領政策が7年に及んだことや戦争で適齢期の日本人男性が少なかったことなどから米国人と結婚した日本人女性が4万5千人もいたそうです。Lucyさんのお母様も含め良家のお嬢様もたくさんいたとか。

日本外国特派員協会の動画でLucyさんの会見が見れますが、まあこれがわかればEnglish Journalなどの教材はいらないですよね。。。

共同製作者であるKathryn TolbertさんとKaren Kasmauskiさんのインタビュー動画もありました。

Kathryn Tolbertさんはワシントンポストにも寄稿していました。こちらの記事は4000語を超える長いものですがとても興味深い内容でオススメです。

From Hiroko to Susie: The untold stories of Japanese war brides
Story by Kathryn Tolbert
Washington Post Published on September 22, 2016

As for my family, my Japanese grandmother opposed my mother’s relationship with Bill, and neighbors gossiped pointedly. My mother didn’t care. Neither did she care when my grandmother warned her with an old proverb: “He’s like the bones of an unknown horse.” My grandmother was saying: Before you marry a man, you must know his family, his circumstances, his values. The soldiers were an unknown quantity in a society where lineage is all-important.

The U.S. government was not in favor of these liaisons either. The men faced tremendous legal hurdles to bringing home Japanese wives. The Immigration Act of 1924, which limited immigrants through a quota system by nationality, also excluded any person who was not eligible for citizenship, and that meant Asians. Several temporary laws in the late 1940s allowed servicemen to marry their Japanese girlfriends and bring them home if they could complete the paperwork in time. The system was designed to make marriage difficult to accomplish, and easy for the young man to change his mind.

Passage of the McCarran-Walter Act in 1952 removed the legal obstacles, although paperwork was still considerable. Commanding officers continued to discourage the relationships, not just out of personal animus but also because they anticipated the unions might be deemed illegal in the men’s home states. In 1952, interracial marriages were still banned, at least on the books, in more than half the nation. The Supreme Court declared those laws unconstitutional in the 1967 decision for Loving v. Virginia.

With their can-do American persistence, some men lobbied their congressmen for help. In 1947, Angelo Amato had just turned 20 and was determined to bring Kimiko Yamaguchi — “the most beautiful girl I had ever seen” — home to East Boston. That’s how the young John F. Kennedy, his congressman, came to sponsor H.R. 8558, “A Bill for the relief of Kimiko Yamaguchi, May 18, 1950.” Their son, Joseph Amato, treasures the sheaf of letters from Kennedy regarding the bill.


I don’t think of myself as Asian American. In my Upstate New York upbringing, there weren’t other Asians, certainly not other Japanese Americans, with whom I might have felt some affinity. But I was surprised to find that even children of Japanese war brides on the West Coast — with its deeply embedded Asian communities — did not think of themselves as especially Japanese American.

I think that’s partly because the Japanese war brides so rigorously suppressed their former identities to become American. Their departures on the arms of American men were viewed with sadness, by the women and their families alike, because they were probably leaving forever. And there was an underlying tinge of shame that they had turned away from Japan or that Japan could not provide for them.

The women don’t view their families today as a branch on their Japanese family tree; they started from scratch. “I came here alone, and today I have 28 family members,” one woman told me with quiet pride.



Japanese War Brides: An Oral History Archive
Stories from across the United States as told to a daughter of a war bride