Bodies and Structures

Comment on "The dark blue blouses with white strips"

Gail's commentary on this photo was quite detailed in comparison to many others, which indicates that the moment was particularly memorable. His description of baby asleep, head dangling, was a common observation of Americans in Japan at the time, who were shocked by the scene. 

What the viewer also sees, and what Gail himself observes as "doing all possible to hide their faces from the camera, the others too dumbfounded to turn in time," is that the children don't appear to want to have their picture taken. It could also be that they didn't appreciate the attention from a member of the American military. Stories of Americans committing crimes, including rape and murder, against Okinawan civilians, were not unknown. In 1955, a few years after this photo was taken, a six year-old girl was raped and killed by a 31-year-old soldier, a case that garnered significant public attention (the so-called Yumiko-chan Incident). The effort to avoid Gail's camera, and possibly Gail himself, could be influenced by a general fear of of soldiers, particularly among children. 


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