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The Okinawan Diaspora in JapanCrossing the Borders Within$
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Steve Rabson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835347

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835347.001.0001

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Wartime (1937–1945)

Wartime (1937–1945)

(p.94) 4 Wartime (1937–1945)
The Okinawan Diaspora in Japan

Steve Rabson

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the wartime migration patterns of Okinawans and more broadly, explores the impact of Japan's involvement in full-scale war on the lives of these Okinawans. During the second half of Japan's turbulent 1930s, more Okinawans than ever left home for work on the mainland, where war-related production, planned and subsidized by the Japanese government, was fueling rapid industrial expansion. Meanwhile, the construction of new factories in Osaka's environs accelerated a “secondary migration” to other cities in Osaka, Hyōgo, and Shiga Prefectures. Moreover, evacuations of civilians deemed unessential to the war effort soon began. In its final years, however, the war wrought death and devastation on Okinawan communities, which were mostly located in urban industrial areas.

Keywords:   wartime Japan, war-related production, military-related jobs, evacuations, secondary migration, wartime migration, wartime Okinawa, World War II

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