Like everyone, colonized people laugh, even if they may have less to laugh about. The general principles of their laughter are also like those of anyone else, built on the same neuro-affective mechanisms, derived from the same evolutionary history. Nonetheless, conditions following the onset of colonization enhance certain properties of humor and particular attitudes toward colonialism make certain uses of humor more salient in those conditions. This chapter begins by considering the difference between conditions and attitudes after the onset of colonialism. It then turns to the general nature of humor and its relation to properties of childhood. The third section extends the treatment of humor to colonialism. From here, the chapter takes up an instance of colonialism (albeit one rarely discussed in postcolonial studies)—the US military occupation of Japan after World War II. The ﬁnal section considers part of Yasujiro Ozu’s Early Summer (1951)1
in relation to the preceding analysis.