Occupied Spaces: Encounters in Private Spaces in Occupied Japan and (West) Germany, 1945-1955

Online Symposium, 29 April 2021

Thursday 29 April 2021, 10 am-12 n CEST (AEST 6 pm-8 pm; JST 5 pm-7 pm). All welcome.

This symposium will discuss the Allied Occupations of Germany and Japan after World War II in a comparative perspective, focusing on the daily life of the occupiers and the occupied. While there were differences, including the way each occupation was structured, both Japan and Germany were occupied by Allied troops and bureaucrats, both countries underwent processes of democratization, demilitarization and re-organisation, and both occupations were later regarded as ‘models’ to be emulated as they established successful democratic and prosperous capitalist systems. In each country, the occupation consisted not only of soldiers and members of military government, but also their accompanying families. Therefore, infrastructure consisting of private accommodation, schools, clubs, entertainment, shopping and medical facilities was built to create familiar and protected living spaces for these families. Many of the occupying families experienced transient social advancement in the occupied country, enjoying a middle- or upper-class lifestyle, complete with local ‘servants’ from the occupied people, often experienced as 'colonial-like' from both sides of the power dynamic.

The four presenters in this symposium build upon and complement each other’s papers by discussing ways in which spaces, houses and residential areas were created for occupied families. They will further examine interactions between Allied families and members of the occupied population who were their domestic workers, neighbours or workmates. The discussion will also address issues related to the prosaic daily enactment (or subversion) of the asymmetrical relations of occupation power.

Feedback from audience participants is most welcome.

To register your attendance, please contact Rowena Ward via roward@uow.edu.au and you will receive the Zoom details. There is no cost to attend this symposium.


Kazuto Oshio, Director, Institute of American and Canadian Studies /Professor, Sophia University (Japan) (Chair)
Japanese Encounter with US Occupied ‘Private’ Spaces in Tokyo: A Case of Dependents Housing

Rowena Ward, Senior Lecturer, University of Wollongong (Australia)
Introduction to Brindiv

Christine De Matos, Associate Dean Research /Senior Lecturer, The University of Notre Dame Australia
The Occupied Home: Labour and Power in Occupied Germany and Japan

Bettina Blum, Research Fellow, Paderborn University (Germany)
Experiences of Occupation: Anglo-German Encounters in Requisitioned Spaces in Germany, 1945-1955