Okinawa’s ‘Reversion’ 50 Years On

Ikue Kina

University of the Ryūkyūs

This Thin Edge of Barbwire: Okinawan Women’s Struggles before and after Reversion

“This Thin Edge of Barbwire” is a phrase which comes from Borderlands/ La Frontera (1987), the work written by a Chicana writer Gloria Anzaldúa, who compares her “home” on the U.S.-Mexican border to a “thin edge of barbwire,” where women’s bodies and lives have constantly been threatened by intense violence. Okinawan women have also been exposed to multiple kinds of male violence followed by life in severe poverty, putting them in a situation similar to Anzaldúa’s “home” as a “borderland.”

Ikue Kina is a professor of American literature at the University of the Ryukyus. Her research interest includes the literature of indigenous North American, Chicana, and Asian American women and the stories written by Tami Sakiyama, an Okinawan woman novelist whose work Kina translated and published in My Postwar Life: New Writings from Japan and Okinawa (2012). Kina also authored and edited Gender Studies in Okinawa, the three-volume series published in 2014, 2015, and 2016 by Otsuki Shoten Publisher, Tokyo.