Spaces of Disregard: An agnotological approach to the geopolitics of Okinawa

Project description

This research project stems from the recent resurgence of interest in islands for studies of global politics. Today small often overlooked islands such as Diego Garcia, Guam, and Okinawa play a crucial role in the US military strategy. These islands are also an urgent issue to be solved because of their colonial conditions and base-related violence against islanders. Despite their military and colonial compositions, dominant narratives continue to disregard these islands and islanders’ voices.

Focusing on the case of Okinawa, this study examines how contemporary military mapping and (post)colonial bordering are reproduced through acts of disregard. Combining textual analysis with ethnography, it also explores diverse ways in which islanders challenge hegemonic geopolitics and envision a decolonial future. The study contributes to discussions in the fields of political geography and international relations and specialised studies of border, island, and security.

Related Publications:

Nishiyama, H. (2020) Base built in the middle of 'rice fields': A politics of ignorance in Okinawa. Geopolitics. Open access at:

Nishiyama, H. (2019) Geopolitics of disregard: Living a colonial life in Okinawa. Political Geography, 74.



Hidefumi Nishiyama

Postdoctoral Researcher