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CJS Thursday Lecture Series | Okinawan Independence and Autonomy Debates in the 1980s

Ryan Masaaki Yokota, 2022–23 Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan
Thursday, September 22, 2022
12:00-1:30 PM
Room 110 Weiser Hall Map
Please note: This lecture will be held in person in room 110 Weiser Hall and virtually via Zoom. This webinar is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Once you've registered, the joining information will be sent to your email. Register for the Zoom webinar at:

Though some might consider the 1980s to be a quiescent time for political activity in Japan, the 1980s proved to be a pivotal period for intellectual debates around independence and autonomy in Okinawa. Situated in the period between the 1972 reversion process and the resurgence of activism following the 1995 rape incident, this lecture will focus on key intellectual developments during this era, to highlight ways in which Okinawan scholars worked against the dictates of the Japanese state, and imagined new possibilities for sovereignty.

Ryan Masaaki Yokota currently serves as an Instructor in the History Department and Critical Ethnic Studies Program at DePaul University in Chicago, IL. He received his PhD in East Asian - Japanese History at the University of Chicago and his MA in Asian American Studies at UCLA. His areas of expertise are in modern Japanese and Okinawan history, East Asian history, Asian American Studies, the history of Asians in Latin America, theories of nationalism, and comparative global ethnic/race studies. His most recent publication is a book chapter titled “Reversion-Era Proposals for Okinawan Regional Autonomy” in Rethinking Postwar Okinawa: Beyond American Occupation, edited by Hiroko Matsuda and Pedro Iacobelli, and published by Lexington Books. Prior publications included an Amerasia Journal article titled “The Okinawan (Uchinanchu) Indigenous Movement and its Implications for Intentional/International Action;” and a book chapter “Ganbateando: The Peruvian Nisei Association and Okinawan Peruvians in Los Angeles” in Transnational Crossroads: Remapping the Americas and the Pacific, edited by Camilla Fojas and Rudy P. Guevarra Jr., from the University of Nebraska Press.

This lecture is made possible with the generous support of the U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant.

If there is anything we can do to make this event accessible to you, please contact us. Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.
Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Japanese Studies
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Center for Japanese Studies, International Institute, Asian Languages and Cultures