This article examines how Japanese “war brides” have been imagined and represented in various media in Japan in the postwar era. These women married servicemen, mostly American GIs, working for the Allied Forces during the occupation period of Japan and the succeeding years in the 1950s, as well as in the early 1960s. The empirical data used here include their coverages in Asahi Shimbun, a major newspaper in Japan, from the late 1940s to the 1970s. In addition, other primary and secondary sources that have taken account of them in one way or other are picked up and analysed. While the data examined here may be limited to a certain degree, it is suggested that the “war brides” had consistently been imagined as Japan's “others,” or the outsiders of Japanese society, by various media throughout the time under study, as their deviance and extraordinariness tended to constitute the major theme of their media representations since the 1950s and thereafter. It is also contended that, from the mid-1960s to the 1970s, Japanese media even imagined them as strangers who had lost their Japanese-ness due to their long-term absence from Japan.
This paper examines how people accepted their misfortunes. Previous works focused on people who identified themselves with model stories such as ‘success in life ’ or ‘dutiful wife and devoted mother’. In contrast, this paper aims to focus on women who couldn't identify themselves with them. How the social solidity created among women empowered them under situations which placed them into poverties, sickness and other difficulties in the late Meiji era? The one answer to this question can be traced in their practices of accepting their misfortunes. Therefore, this paper analyses narratives from correspondence columns on women's magazines. Women accepted their misfortunes through sharing voices in magazines, and they shared and compared their misfortunes with others' in magazines. They firstly exchange the sympathy to other's misfortunes, and then they compare their situations with others'. They were connected with others by the articulation of narratives about misfortunes and could imagine ‘we’ who shared same realties through these practices. Women narrated their different misfortunes by creating and sharing a common format. The image of ‘we’ indicates the acquisition of the common languages and ways of the representation. It implies that we can understand this creation of social solidity as the ‘community of misfortunes’.