Bodies and Structures 2.0: Deep-Mapping Modern East Asian HistoryMain MenuGet to Know the SiteGuided TourShow Me HowA click-by-click guide to using this siteModulesRead the seventeen spatial stories that make up Bodies and Structures 2.0Tag MapExplore conceptsComplete Grid VisualizationDiscover connectionsGeotagged MapFind materials by geographic locationLensesCreate your own visualizationsWhat We LearnedLearn how multivocal spatial history changed how we approach our researchAboutFind information about contributors and advisory board members, citing this site, image permissions and licensing, and site documentationTroubleshootingA guide to known issuesAcknowledgmentsThank youDavid Ambaras1337d6b66b25164b57abc529e56445d238145277Kate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5fThis project was made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
"This is my best picture. It explains itself."
12020-04-30T18:07:03-04:00Kate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5f353Older woman with a little boy on back, a girl climbing onto a porch.plain2020-09-15T17:22:35-04:00The Gail Project.1952-1953Charles Eugene GailThe Gail Project; University of California, Santa Cruz.Used with permission.Dustin WrightDW-0002Kandra Polatis4decfc04157f6073c75cc53dcab9d25e87c02133
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12020-04-30T18:05:34-04:00Okinawan Children10Children in Gail's Photosstructured_gallery2021-10-08T16:44:11-04:001952Dustin WrightGail, Charles
Gail often photographed represent, perhaps, a face of Okinawa that did not directly experience the war but was obviously reared in the poverty and material deprivation of the postwar. These images were taken only six or seven years after the war and the lingering effects are plainly visible: clothing made from repurposed military uniforms; children wearing military boots several sizes too big if they wore shoes at all; children who appear, as in the photo below entitled “Little fellow's head,” to not quite know what to make of the white man behind the camera.
We have to wonder whether or not Gail was in uniform as he scoured the countryside looking for photogenic people and and striking landscapes. Certainly, whether uniformed or not, that he was a white man would most likely have let those he encountered to assume that he was a member of the occupying military, a figure both awkwardly out of place and yet simultaneously inscribed with colonial privilege and power. In some of the photos in this section, it is clear that the children are trying to avoid the camera's gaze, Gail himself, or both. In 1955, only three years after Gail took these photos, a 31-year-old American raped and murdered 6-year-old Nagayama Yumiko, a crime that roiled Okinawa and served to exacerbate fears of American military men.