People and Culture in Oceania Vol. 21, 2005

The Chinese Experience during the Japanese Occupation in New Guinea

Tetsu Ichikawa

It is often pointed out that the Pacific War had a significant influence on local societies in Melanesia. In the case of New Guinea, however, it was not only native people but also other ethnic groups in residence, such as the Chinese who were influenced by the Japanese army when they occupied the region. This paper discusses the Pacific war memories and experiences of the Chinese in New Guinea.Before the Pacific War, there were about 2000 Chinese living in the New Guinea area. Japanese gathered those Chinese together and brought them to Rabaul and Kavieng. Japanese ordered the Chinese to live in concentration camps later.Under the Japanese rule Chinese had to work for the Japanese army. As for their food the Chinese were ordered by the Japanese to grow what crops they could and to live self-sufficiently. The Chinese suffered not only from Japanese domination of the Japanese but also from the bombings by Allied forces.After the war, we see tow major changes in the Chinese society in Papua New Guinea. First, the fighting had made it impossible for Chinese in New Guinea to contact their relatives in China during the Pacific War. Even after the war it was not easy for them to visit or send their children to China for education. Secondly, the Chinese relationship with Australia was accelerated after the war. From the late 1950s Chinese in New Guinea were allowed to apply for Australian citizenship, which most of the Chinese did. When we view Chinese society in the New Guinea region chronologically, we can see that its characteristics were changed after the Japanese occupation during the Pacific War, from a China-oriented society to an Australiaoriented society. In this sense, the Pacific War was epoch making for the Chinese societies in this region.

Keyword: Chinese experience; New Guinea; Japanese occupation

The Failure to Objectify Culture: A Lack of Nationalism in the Federated States of Micronesia

Yoko Komai

It is widely observed that political leaders promote national consciousness and unity by the rhetoric of national cultures and symbolic activities including sports events and commemoration of independence of the states. This is a process of cultural objectification in which people are made to reflect upon their cultures and identify themselves with those cultures. In the case of the FSM (Federated States of Micronesia), however, such politicians' attempts have led to unintended consequences: instead of national unity, they are fostering local and ethnic consciousness and thus division among the nation. The FSM consists of four states, each of which is inhabited by a number of linguistic groups and local communities. Being acutely aware of the absence of national unity, politicians are trying to counteract this situation through various occasions such as FSM Games and Yap Day. FSM Games is a sports event where people from the whole country participate. Yap Day is an event where various cultural activities are conducted on the island of Yap. These two events were intended to promote nationalism by political leaders. However, contrary to the leaders' intentions, the events have contributed to the process of objectification of local and ethnic cultures and the intensification of local identity. Firstly, this is because there is virtually no culture that the leaders can utilize for representing the whole country. This is reflected in their favorite expression "Our culture lacks substantial content." Secondly, this is attributable to the fact that the competition involved in these events tends to heighten awareness of local differences rather than similarities among the participants. This study of the difficulties in promoting nationalism and cultural objectification in the FSM concludes that a lack of nationalism among the common people prevents political leaders from forging a united, national culture.

Keywords: cultural objectification; the Federated States of Micronesia; nationalism; the discourses of political leaders; unintended consequences

The Early Development of the Bula Tale Co-operative in Fiji Islands: Its Experimental Practice and Aftermath

Norio Niwa

The aim of this paper is to depict how Fijian society dealt with the Bula Tale co-operative with special reference to its involvement in communist controversy. The Bula Tale was a cooperative group and commenced its activities in the early 1960's mainly in four villages of Nadroga/Navosa province, Fiji. It was also known as the Bula Tale Communist Party for a short period. What is conspicuous about this group is that its members radically changed their way of life for better living. For example, they not only abolished or simplified some aspects of Fijian customary procedures such as marriage and funerals, but also prohibited themselves from drinking kava. At the same time, the Bula Tale people encouraged themselves to work hard. Owing to these striking features of their practices and provocative naming of communist party, the Bula Tale caused the sensation and had no choice but to relocate their settlement to another province. In this paper I follow this uproar of the Bula Tale and try to interpret this event on the background of the 1960's Fiji.

Key words: inversion of tradition; co-operative group; communism; the Bula Tale; the Lami

Dealing with Transforming Self/s of Japanese Women Studying in Australian Universities: A Conceptual Framework

Takae Ichimoto

This article presents the conceptual framework underpinning the study of transforming identities and perceptions of femininity of Japanese women studying in Australian higher education. A feminist, postmodern position on identity and concepts of self is taken, arguing that the self is socially, culturally and historically (re)constructed, unfixed and multidimensional. By looking at the seven key themes of the study's theoretical and operational concepts, the article attempts to link globalisation, higher education and re-creation of women's femininity and identity. The seven key themes are: i) globalisation, ii) higher education and the emergence of a new Japanese cosmopolitan woman, iii) postmodern identity, iv) empowerment and identities, v) femininity as 'performance', vi) 'performing self'/'expressed self', and vii) cultural hybridities and intentional unfixity of self.. This article also provides a review of the relevant literature on the global mobility of Japanese women and the status of contemporary Japanese women in order to show the links between these seven operational concepts and the wider body of knowledge encompassed within literature dealing with identities and femininity of Japanese women.

Keywords: Femininity, Globalisation, Higher Education, Identity, Japanese Women

Vuniivilevu and Burotu: The Geography, Ethnography, and Hazard Implications of Vanished Islands in Fiji

Patrick D. Nunn, Paul Geraghty, Elia Nakoro, Alifereti Nasila, Samuela Tukidia

Vuniivilevu and Burotu are two islands in Fiji that allegedly 'vanished'. The recollections preserved in written sources and oral traditions (including a 2003-4 field survey) are presented and discussed together with a geological evaluation of whether these islands existed. Vuniivilevu was once a large island south of Moturiki Island in central Fiji; its form can be reconstructed. The location of Burotu is less certain, but it was probably close to Matuku Island in southeast Fiji. Both islands probably existed in fact. Vuniivilevu may have disappeared as a result of collapse of part of the east Viti Levu insular shelf between AD 1200 and 1600. Burotu may have slipped down the steep flanks of Matuku Island (of which it was part) at least 1000 years ago. The fact that such islands periodically disappear is supported by numerous examples from other islands in the Pacific and elsewhere, and underline the point that many such environments are inherently unstable. It is demonstrated that oral traditions can offer useful insights into these catastrophic events.

Keywords: island; oral traditions; Fiji; collapse; geography; ethnography; hazards

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