Japan Brats: The Youth Who Bridged Opposite Worlds (Printed collection)
In 1946, the U.S. Military inadvertently conducted one of the most fascinating social science experiments of the 20th century: They began sending thousands of American children from all over the U.S. to live in lands of recent bitter enemies for years at a time, with their parents. One prominent destination was Japan (including Okinawa), a culture as mysterious to America as any on Earth. Whatever happened to those American children in Japan, and the waves of dependents that followed them?
This 3-volume project answers that question with hundreds of heartfelt stories, photographs, historical & cultural context, and copious research while providing hope for our currently polarized society: That regardless of our differences, we can come together with common cause no matter how seemingly daunting the circumstances.
Volume one covers the beginnings of Japan Brats from their first arrival in Japan in 1946, as illuminated with relevant historical and cultural context, and hundreds of individual and family stories (with photographs). See, feel, and imagine what the first arrival experiences have been like for over 100 interviewees and their families across eras and places. 450+pp. with 500+ photos/images.
Volume two provides hundreds of compelling first-person stories (with photographs) that explore the fascinating daily life experiences of Japan Brats from 1946 into the 21st century: What were their lives like at the intersection of Japanese, American, and U.S. military cultural exchange? What were their challenges, lessons learned, triumphs, loves, and lasting memories? What was life like on the "Little America" bases & posts they frequented, as well as off-base in Japanese and Okinawan communities? What were social dynamics like both at school and home? So many stories, insightfully shared. 480+ pp. with 500+ photos/images.
Volume three explores Japan Brat transitions from living in Japan to returning to the U.S. What was that transition process like? Many Brats experienced degrees of culture shock. How did the experience of growing up in Japan for years at a time impact Brats as they grew into adulthood? What life lessons did they learn that could perhaps be applied to our polarized society today? In this volume, Hundreds of storied Brat insights are also supplemented with research findings, and summed up in a final Reflections chapter. 450+ pp. plus 500+ photos.