History Talks: Japanese colonialism in the CNMI

Posted on Oct 26 2020



Pacific Historic Parks, in partnership with the Northern Marianas Humanities Council, would like to invite the public to join us LIVE on Zoom on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, at 9am for Islands Too Beautiful For Their Names: Rethinking Legacies of Japanese Colonialism and WWII in the Northern Mariana Islands with Dr. Jessica Jordan.

Registration is free, at https://bit.ly/PHP_HTSregistration_DrJordanIslandsTooBeautiful.

Although indigenous Northern Mariana Islanders used to be Japanese subjects, these experiences are not well represented in most history sources. Instead, Japanese colonialism tends to be interpreted as a dark period out of which the Americans liberated the islands and islanders during World War II. But when viewed from the perspective of everyday life, the transition from Japanese to U.S. rule broke apart islander-settler families, disavowed or destroyed accomplishments islanders made during the Japanese era, and cast suspicion upon local public expressions of affinity for anything “Japanese.” This presentation will review these and other examples of how islanders have remembered their own lives during these years, versus how Japanese and U.S. colonial records have represented them.

This presentation’s speaker, Dr. Jessica Jordan, was born in Yap and grew up on Saipan in the CNMI. She is now an assistant professor at the USAF Air University where she teaches about Asia Pacific regional issues relevant to U.S. national security. She has a Ph.D. in history, and her research draws upon documented records as well as interviews with local Mariana Island senior citizens (man’amko) who grew up during the Japanese colonial era (1914-1944).  The presentation will cover the indigenous Northern Mariana Islanders who used to be Japanese subjects and their experiences that are not well represented in most history sources.

This project is made possible by support from the Northern Marianas Humanities Council, a non-profit, private corporation with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the federal CARES Act. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this grant opportunity do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  

For more information on this event, contact Jovannalyn Mafnas at email address: jmafnas@pacifichistoricparks.org. (PHP)

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News under Press Release are official statements issued to Saipan Tribune giving information on a particular matter.

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