Following World War II, the Allied Powers occupied Japan from 1945 to 1952, leaving a human legacy: thousands of children of Japanese mothers fathered by men from Australia, the United States, New Zealand, India, and Britain. These mixed-race offspring, and often their mothers, faced intense discrimination. Based on interviews with or research on 150 konketsuji a w-taboo word for mixed-blood Japanese journalist Walter Hamilton presents vivid first-person accounts of these adults as they remember their experiences of childhood loss. Using archival material from organizations dedicated to assisting the children, he combines moving personal tales with historical and political analyses of international race relations and immigration policy, particularly in North America and Australia. Not only were attitudes and behaviors of the Japanese biased against the mixed-race children, but so were the restrictive and prejudicial immigration policies of the fathers native countries. Japan s racial intolerance was fully matched in the nations it fought against. Hamilton examines how attitudes about race relations have evolved and traces the impact of racial ideology on national policy and cultural identity in Australia, Japan, and the United States.
WALTER HAMILTON is a journalist with four decades of experience working for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the Australian Associated Press in Sydney, Canberra, London, Singapore, and Tokyo. He is the author of Serendipity City: Australia, Japan, and the Multifunction Polis.