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Race for EmpireKoreans as Japanese and Japanese as Americans during World War II$
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T. Fujitani

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520262232

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520262232.001.0001

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Go for Broke, the Movie

Go for Broke, the Movie

The Transwar Making of American Heroes

(p.206) Chapter Five Go for Broke, the Movie
Race for Empire

T. Fujitani

University of California Press

This chapter details how during the war years the need to gain allies of color to win first the war, and then the projected peace, facilitated the rehabilitation of Japanese Americans into model soldiers and Americans. The production of these images continued in the postwar and particularly Cold War period, but with the very important difference that Cold War memory making shifted away from an assimilationist to a multiculturalist model. Such a turn away from the idea that cultural difference signified cultural pathology or lagging development to the idea that some aspects of cultural difference might be celebrated was directly related to the Cold War and the postcolonial scheme for U.S. hegemony in East Asia, which gave the nation of Japan a unique location in the global community as the United States' capitalist and “almost, but not quite white” younger sibling. Japanese Americans within the re-racialized postwar U.S. society came to be positioned in a way that was in some important respects homological to the new location of Japan within the American imperium. Just as Japanese Americans continued their transwar transition into America's model minority, so Japan became America's model minority nation.

Keywords:   Japanese Americans, allies, war, soldiers, Cold War, cultural difference, postwar society

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