For enquiries about this project or if you have a story about Japanese civilian internees in Australia
you’d like to share, please contact Christine Piper:
About the researcher
Christine Piper is a freelance writer and editor. Her doctoral project examines Japanese civilian internment in Australia during World War II. Her supervisors are Dr Debra Adelaide and Dr Delia Falconer of UTS’s Centre for Creative Practice and Cultural Economy. Christine became interested in the topic of Japanese civilian internment in Australia as her mother is a first-generation Japanese immigrant to Australia, although there are no former internees in her family. Christine’s website: www.christinepiper.com
About the project
1. A dissertation exploring how and when we narrate the traumas of the past, as individuals and collectively. Each of the four chapters is a self-contained essay examining different expressions of silence in narratives about past trauma, from gaps in historical records to institutional silences. The author highlights the government and social prejudices that influenced the internment and release of Japanese civilians. The project includes profiles of five former Japanese civilian internees, all of whom were either Australian-born or of mixed Anglo-Japanese ethnicity, to demonstrate their varied psychological experience.
2. After Darkness is a historical fiction novel about Japanese civilians interned in Australia and other wartime misdeeds. Japanese doctor Tomokazu Ibaraki reflects on the time he was interned as an enemy alien during World War II. While working at a Japanese hospital in Broome, he was arrested and sent to Loveday, South Australia. As the world of the camp unfolds through the doctor’s retelling, details about his past emerge—his deep connection with the nun he trained in Broome, and a trauma in Japan that triggered the breakdown of his marriage. At camp, he befriends a troubled half-Japanese internee, and when tensions between internees escalate, the doctor’s loyalties are divided as his sense of duty conflicts with his moral integrity. After Darkness explores how we face the traumas of our past and find the courage to speak out.