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Title: “The Martial Islands”: Making Marshallese Masculinities between American and Japanese Militarism 
Author: Dvorak, Greg
Date: 2008
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Center for Pacific Islands Studies
Citation: Dvorak, G. 2008. “The Martial Islands”: Making Marshallese Masculinities between American and Japanese Militarism. Special issue, The Contemporary Pacific 20 (1): 55-86.
Abstract: For over a century, the Marshall Islands have been entangled between the United
States and Japan in their conquest of the Central Pacifi c; yet because of this, these
islands have also been a place where multiple masculinities have converged, competed,
and transformed each other. This is especially true around the site of Kwajalein
Atoll, where terrain understood in Marshallese terms as female or maternal
has been reshaped and masculinized through the semiotics of colonialism and
militarization. This article focuses specifically on three local representations of
masculinity: the knowledgeable but strategic Marshallese “Etao,” symbolized by
a creative and resourceful male trickster spirit; the heroic but paternalistic American
“Patriot,” as enacted via the perpetual battlefield of military and weaponstesting
missions; and the adventurous but self-sacrificing “Dankichi,” deployed
in Japan during the 1930s and echoed nowadays in the long-distance tuna-fi shing
industry. Cross-reading Judith Butler and R W Connell, this is an exploration of
the “theater” of these masculinities in relationship to one another, and the story
of how different superpowers strive for domination by emasculating a third colonial
site and its subjects.
ISSN: 1043-898X
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/14055
Keywords: masculinities, Marshall Islands, Kwajalein Atoll, gender, America, Japan, Pacific War
LC Subject Headings: Oceania -- Periodicals.

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