The phenomenon of “war brides” from Japan moving to the West has been quite widely discussed, but this book tells the stories of women whose lives followed a rather different path after they married foreign occupiers. During Okinawa’s Occupation by the Allies from 1945 to 1972, many Okinawan women met and had relationships with non-Western men who were stationed in Okinawa as soldiers and base employees. Most of these men were from the Philippines.

Zulueta explores the journeys of these women to their husbands’ homeland, their acculturation to their adopted land, and their return to their native Okinawa in their late adult years. Utilizing a life-course approach, she examines how these women crafted their own identities as first-generation migrants or “Issei” in both the country of migration and their natal homeland, their re-integration to Okinawan society, and the role of religion in this regard, as well as their thoughts on end-of-life as returnees.

This book will be of interest to scholars looking at gender and migration, cross-cultural marriages, ageing and migration, as well as those interested in East Asia, particularly Japan/Okinawa.

chapter 1|19 pages

War brides' silent journeys

chapter 2|11 pages

Memories of war and its aftermath

The Battle of Okinawa and the American Occupation

chapter 4|18 pages


The return to Okinawa

chapter 5|15 pages

Migration and the end-of-life

When death becomes her question

chapter 6|6 pages

War brides and the life course

A conclusion