Aristocratic Violence and Holy War: Studies in the Jihad and by Michael Bonner

By Michael Bonner

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As discussed below, notwithstanding the enormous inequality that defined relations between American and Okinawan women, their negotiations were heterogenous and changing, leading to unexpected and sometimes surprising consequences, and revealing the multifaceted, incoherent, and sometimes subversive dynamics surrounding women, homes, and empire on the Cold War islands. The USCAR Women’s Club and tales of feminine friendship in Cold War Okinawa Among American women’s clubs that emerged in post-war Okinawa, the USCAR Women’s Club, whose membership consisted primarily of wives of USCAR personnel, played a particularly salient role in promoting people-topeople activities at the grassroots level.

18 By the early 1960s, USCAR had also established fairly wellorganized administrative structure, including a “Public Affairs” office ready to launch a series of public relation programs. While keeping this shift in mind, it is nevertheless crucial to recognize that culture and cultural dynamics constituted a salient factor from the very beginning, mediating US–Okinawa relations in a variety of ways and mobilizing women as the chief agents. 20 Two relief programs – LARA (Licensed Agencies for Relief in Asia) which began in 1949 and RIVAC (Ryukyu Islands Voluntary Agency Committee) which began in 1954 – further facilitated the process of local adaptation to foreign domesticity in terms of food, clothing, medicine, and other everyday materials, impressing upon Okinawans the power and generosity of Western, especially American, capitalist democracy in concrete, material terms.

The USCAR Women’s Club was keenly aware of its own significance. Compiling two thick “scrap books,” members of the club made a point of documenting their activities from 1952 to 1972, with numerous photographs, letters, invitation cards, pamphlets, posters, and newspaper clippings.

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