Naoko Wake

After completing her B.A. and M.A. at Kyoto University, Japan, and her PhD at Indiana University, Bloomington, Naoko Wake joined the faculty of Michigan State University, where she is currently an Associate Professor of history. Her field of specialization is the history of medicine, gender, sexuality in the United States and the Pacific Rim, and she is the author of Private Practices: Harry Stack Sullivan, the Science of Homosexuality, and American Liberalism (2011) as well as several articles. She is currently working on her second monograph Bombing Americans: Gender and Trans-Pacific Memory after World War II, which explores the history of Japanese American and Korean American survivors of the bomb with a focus on their transnational memory, identity, and activism.

Updated December 2014

war en ja

Excerpt from Hiroshima Nagasaki Beyond The Ocean - Part 2

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4. Survivor's Destinations—South America


A country of striking red soil, Paraguay has rich, expansive fields that seem to reach the horizon. Bordering with Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia, Paraguay also houses several Japanese colonias.

The La Paz resettlement in the Fram district is one of the newer Japanese colonias in South America. Like San Juan in Bolivia, the earliest Japanese immigrants arrived there in the 1950s. As elsewhere in South America, those who came to this small landlocked country—Paraguay’s population is 6.6 million—opened up primitive forests in order to create farmland. Not knowing the local languages, …

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war en ja

Excerpt from Hiroshima Nagasaki Beyond The Ocean - Part 1

1. Atomic Bomb Survivors in the Americas

What comes to mind when you see or hear the phrase “survivors of the bomb in North and South America”? What images, stories, and emotions do these words bring? For some, the words “bomb in America” might suggest the drug war in Mexico or the terrorist attacks in the United States. Those who immediately equate the term “the bomb” with the nuclear destruction in Hiroshima and Nagasaki might feel equally puzzled by the phrase because these cities are not in the Americas. To many
of us, these Japanese cities, which suffered the first …

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