Fredrick Cloyd

Fredrick Douglas Kakinami Cloyd was born in Japan shortly after the U.S. Occupation officially ended. His African-American/Cherokee father was an occupation soldier in Korea and Japan while Fredrick’s mother—a Japanese/Chinese/Austro-Hungarian girl of the war-ruins was from an elite nationalist family in Japan. Transnational racisms and sexisms during the rise of U.S. and Japanese global stature presents a foundation through which Fredrick weaves his stories of memory and family history.

He received a masters degree from a postcolonial/feminist-oriented social cultural anthropology program at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. He feeds his love of Asian and Latin foods, coffee, TV shows, music, and steam trains while working on his first interstitial auto-ethnography entitled: “Dream of the Water Children, dream of the water children.”

Updated May 2011

identity en

Excerpts from "Dream of the water children, dream of the water children"

Part 3: Watermelon Seeds [1 of 2]

Read “Part 2: The Waters [2 of 2]” >>

Watermelon seeds, 1964    Shōwa Year 39

スイカの種、1964年    昭和39年

“One of the remarkable features of this group is that it seems that all the war children receives[sic] a stigma, whether the father was an enemy soldier or an allied…We have to understand that this stigma often is associated with the status of the mother.”
     —From: The War Children of the World1

Lovers—a Japanese man and the French woman, speak:

He: You saw nothing in Hiroshima. Nothing.

She: The reconstructions have been made as authentically as possible.

The illusion ...

Read more

identity en

Excerpts from "Dream of the water children, dream of the water children"

Part 2: The Waters [2 of 2]

Read “Part 2: Waters [1 of 2]” >>

The Waters (continued)

Denver, Colorado 1982

“Hey Boy!…Yeah, You. I’m talking to you Boy!”1

“Yes, officer,” I say to the policeman who had just called out to me at 11:00 at night as I walked home from volleyball practice at the YMCA. The flashlight is shone onto my face as I turned to face him. He sees I’m in a blue warm-up suit with my Onitsuka Tiger (now called Asics) sports bag. There are two of them. They violently push me over to the police car and tell ...

Read more

identity en

Excerpts from "Dream of the water children, dream of the water children"

Part 2: The Waters [1 of 2]

Read “Part 1: Preface” >>

The Waters

“What am I doing here in this endless winter?”
     —Franz Kafka, from The Metamorphosis and Other Stories

My brown body began writing the Japanese character “水” water when I was four years old. I began writing Chinese characters before I knew any of the more simple phonetic kana characters of Japanese language around that time. I hadn’t even heard of English then. And what I knew of China directly, were my Mama’s Chinese friends in Japan, and the Chinese waiters and waitresses and Chinese restaurants in Japan.

I became interested in Japanese ...

Read more

identity en

Excerpts from "Dream of the water children, dream of the water children"

Part 1: Preface

This is an anthropology of memory, a journal and memoir, a work of creative non-fiction. It combines memories from recall, conversations with parents and other relations, friends, journal entries, dream journals and critical analysis.

To learn more about this memoir, read the series description.

The Dream

“To say that a life is precarious requires not only that a life be apprehended as a life, but also that precariousness be an aspect of what is apprehended in what is living.”
     —Judith Butler, Frames of War: When is Life Grievable?

I was born in July of 1955, in a small town in ...

Read more

politics en

Nikkei Heritage

Snowflakes in a Valley of Fire

My mother told me one day that fear was useless in her life. Her statements confront what many of us believe peace should be—obedience, disciplining ourselves to be docile, good citizens, with fear not far behind our actions. Fear of not being seen as an American, fear of being interned again at the drop of a hat, fear of doing ‘wrong’ in the eyes of the US government or Japan—fear has been a constant presence for many Japanese Americans. My mother has always wanted a life which resisted these norms. For her, docility meant conformity to norms of ...

Read more