WEARING KARIYUSHI AS AN OKINAWAN AUSTRALIAN

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I enter a room full of young Okinawans, who have come to Australia to teach Eisā, a traditional form of music and dance. Too proud to actually learn myself, I only duck in with my mother to say hello. I see the Okinawans, my age or slightly older, lower their gaze as I walk in. The source of their embarrassment registers in my unconscious, but I don’t allow myself to acknowledge it at the time. It’s my ridiculously ostentatious Kariyushi shirt.

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Timothy Kazuo Steaines writes for the Peril magazine about the cultural complexities involved in wearing Kariyushi in Australia.

Timothy Kazuo Steaines writes for the Peril magazine about the cultural complexities involved in wearing Kariyushi in Australia.

 

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Author: Timothy Kazuo Steains

Timothy Kazuo Steains is a PhD candidate in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney. His thesis explores perceptions of Japan in contemporary Australian literature, cinema, and theatre. He is interested in how intercultural interactions can lead individuals to cultivating mixed cultural subjectivities. He enjoys karaoke and whiskey (preferably together, but individually is ok too), and of course adding to his Kariyushi collection.

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