Picture Bride, War Bride examines how the institution of marriage created pockets of legal and social inclusion for Japanese women during the period of Japanese exclusion. Gomez begins with the first wave of Japanese women's migration in the early twentieth century (picture brides), and ends with the second mass migration of Japanese women after World War II (war brides), to illustrate how popular and political discourse drew on overlapping and conflicting logics of race and gender to either rexclude the Japanese or facilitate their inclusion via immigration legislation that privileged wives.
Picture Bride, War Bride retells the history of Japanese migration and exclusion by centering women, gender, and sexuality, and in the process, troubles oversimplified notions of inclusion and exclusion. While the Japanese were racially excluded between 1908 and 1952, Japanese wives and fiances were permitted entry because their inclusion served American interests in the Pacific. However, the logic that facilitated their inclusion circumscribed their lives in the United States.