Wendy Cheng previews my upcoming book: Dream of the Water Children

cloyd - COVER - FINAL -v2

A Black-Japanese Amerasian reflects on life in the present, with the traces of wars and their aftermaths. 2Leaf Press is pleased to announce the publication of Fredrick D. Kakinami Cloyd’s first book, DREAM OF THE WATER CHILDREN, MEMORY AND MOURNING IN THE BLACK PACIFIC, in June 2016. In Dream of the Water Children, Fredrick Kakinami Cloyd delineates the ways imperialism and war are experienced across and between generations and leave lasting and often excruciating legacies in the mind, body, and relationships.

READ The Preview Here:   http://2leafpress.org/online/preview-dream-of-the-water-children-wendy-cheng/

Bathing in Japan

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Living in Japan from my earliest memory into childhood, and then returning when I was an early teen, included one of the most important and pleasurable events of most Japanese peoples’ daily and monthly life— bathing.  In Japan, bathing is not only a way to wash ourselves, and not only an individual pleasure, but a way of healing, relaxing, conversing with friend(s) and/or family, and ritual.

Many people are familiar with the Japanese bath in the home, which resembles what the Americans call a “hot tub.”  The tradition of bathing is not exclusive to Japan, of course.  While I was doing research in Turkey, it was a pleasure to learn of the Turkish bath traditions and to partake in its histories and pleasures there, and to think of the similarities and differences.

The private bath, in the home, is called お風呂 — Ofuro, in Japan, and is the most familiar to people who do not make their lives in Japan.

But in addition to this, I want to mention some other bathing traditions in Japan, mainly the public baths.

When I was growing up in Japan, once a month, my mother and I would visit a neighborhood public bath — 銭湯 Sentō. In addition, once a year or two years, when my mother could afford it, she would take us to the hot springs baths ­­­—  温泉 Onsen.   The neighborhood public baths have been losing business and there are fewer and fewer in Japan nowadays, as people individualize and the tradition of bathing is becoming increasingly private and preferred. Also, public baths are getting expensive as well as Japanese people having less leisure time. Many corporations in Japan sponsor their workers’ public bathing. Even so, these remain important cultural traditions that would most likely never die out in Japan, and remain one of the special Japanese traditions of healing, cleaning, and relaxation.

 

BOOK Release Date Changed!!

waterfall-hd-jungle1

My book — Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific— is slightly delayed and will be released in Spring 2016.

For those anticipating, please forgive the delay.  Publishing a book is a very intense task between publishers and authors. There are many facets that, along with everyday life matters, keeps things changing and moving and needing work to make it right.

The book is in the “proof” stage so it is in the final stages.

Be on the look out for announcements and other fun things regarding the release!

Human Rights — dreams, contradictions, violence, and hope

 

Human Rights - AAASDNAposter

Human Rights is a mechanism that we need in our world, even though it is impossible. It is impossible because the nations that enforce and “protect” it, demand it, are the nations that committed genocide and exempt themselves from war crimes, fomenting distrust from other nations.

Internally, national and local police systems, judicial structures, school systems, and the dynamics of domestic life, maintain and create as well as change and make invisible, the contours of oppression and the hierarchies of the local culture, whether it be racial, gendered, class and caste-ist, homophobic and heterosexist, or along the lines of patriotic and nationalist. In this landscape, human rights becomes a distant ghost for some people and communities deemed outside those deserving rights, including those criminalized or made to become “insane.”  Who creates insanities and criminals but the dominant systems?

In this scenario, to argue for human rights is a spectacle, yet is necessary, fraught with contradiction, hope, despair, memory, and imagined futures.

CHINA Police - In Uygur minority Region - December 2014

CHINA Police – In Uygur minority Region – December 2014

 

 

Music— Jun Miyake

Those of you who watched the U.S. male figure skater Jeremy Abbott, win the US National Championships in 2014, will remember the wonderful music piece that he won with.  It happens to be one of my recently listed personal all-time favorites!  He used a piece from the musical Pina, entitled ‘Lilies of the Valley’ by Jun Miyake.

I post the YouTube video here – by linkszumliebhaben for your enjoyment.  The video accompanies/shows the music through clips from old movies, choreographed and edited to fit Miyake’s music.  Brilliant!

Visit my Book Site: Dream of the Water Children

Book Cover - BLUR FADE

For those of you interested in Black Pacific histories, storytelling, postcolonial analysis, and Black-Asian and indigenous perspectives, you might appreciate my book:  Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific  will be released this coming Fall (2015) by 2Leaf Press in New York.

It is a combination of family and friends’ collective memoir, dreams, dreams and recollections on being a black body in the Pacific Rim, from ancient times to the present, combined with a mystery and soul-searching investigation of my reflections on my relationship with my mother, as well as my father and family.

The Occupation of Japan, indigenous South Seas and Pacific Islands histories, women’s lives in relation to US militarism, divided Korea, the Philippines Resistance War against the US, Negrito peoples, African-American soldiers in Asian Wars, French Indochina and American Vietnam Wars, European colonization in the Pacific, and life in today across the US, are only some of the aspects evoked in a meditation of self-in-history.

The book is not written in traditional ways, mixing genres and disciplines without dividing into categories. It is not a social history or case study, but memories with research notes and reflections on readings, related directly to my investigation on how I and family members have grown to be a self within larger histories of militarism and colonization.

From my mother speaking to me through a dream, to my father’s interpretation of his Vietnam War experience, to my present-day experiences with racism in San Francisco from both Japanese and white people, to newspaper articles and stories from my childhood and the infanticide, a mystery regarding my own background opens new questions on the world, what it tells us versus what we know and remember, what we choose to maintain or refuse, and how we maintain, perpetrate or become victims of violence and oppressions is at the core of questions that I pose for the meaning of what lives we live and what we must become.

The central focus of my book is of being the identity of a Black-Japanese Amerasian, born in the postwar, to a mixed-race Japanese woman who meets my would-be father, an African-American military man stationed in Japan during the Korean War. Transnational life, military life, and the jarring changes and adjustments needed in the middle of it, and continuing into adulthood–are the main ways in which I choose to remember a few events in my life, and conversations with my mother, to evoke a dream-like sequence between academic writing and the lament of life in loss, war, and the struggle for empowerment.

If interested, please visit the website for my book, to keep informed:

http://dreamwater.com/