|Abstract or Summary
- This thesis is an exploratory and descriptive study of the relationship between a US
military base and Kin Town, Okinawa, Japan, presented in the form of ethnography.
Guided by James Scott's theory of "weapons of the weak," it explores the relationship
between the two in terms of how the townspeople deal with the hegemony of the military
base in the context of their daily life. Especially, it attempts to examine whether the
townspeople's strategies to live with the base can challenge the hegemonic claim that the
base exists to help create peace in the world. This thesis first describes the historical
process in which a complex relationship between the two has emerged. Focusing on three
important characteristics of pre-war Kin, close knit communal membership, "the home of
emigrant pioneers," and communal land management, it illustrates how Kin has changed
and/or has not changed in relation to the construction of a military base in the town.
Secondly, this thesis describes how the townspeople perceive the base and their
relationship with the base. Pointing out that the base is never perceived by the townspeople
as a mere military institution, it shows that the base is perceived as both "the root cause of
problems" and the most important fmancial resource with imposing international power. It
argues that this paradoxical situation has created many dilemmas in the town, including the
townspeople's ambivalent view regarding the hegemonic claim. Thirdly, this thesis shows
that, with such perceptions of the base, the townspeople have developed various strategies
to live with the base. Non-native Kin bar owners have developed the "American Bar
System" and practice the hiring of Filipino women to interact with military personnel.
Native Kin people employ the strategies of disassociation from the base and "independent"
protests to live with the base. In addition, this thesis also examines native Kin people's
"money redistributing system" and their reconstruction of the town as "the home of
emigrant pioneers" in the framework of strategies to live with the base. It argues,
however, that while these strategies enable the townspeople to live with the base, they
cannot challenge the hegemony of the base and its hegemonic claim. Finally, this thesis
shows how the history of the relationship, the townspeople's perceptions of the base, and
their strategies to live with the base are related to each other. It also presents a scenario of
how the townspeople can challenge the hegemony of the base and its hegemonic claim by
expanding James Scott's theory and the townspeople's present strategies. The scenario is
then translated into specific recommendations for the town.