Searching for Home Abroad: Japanese Brazilians and Transnationalism

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9780822331124: Searching for Home Abroad: Japanese Brazilians and Transnationalism
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During the first half of the twentieth century, Japanese immigrants entered Brazil by the tens of thousands. In more recent decades that flow has been reversed: more than 200,000 Japanese-Brazilians and their families have relocated to Japan. Examining these significant but rarely studied transnational movements and the experiences of Japanese-Brazilians, the essays in Searching for Home Abroad rethink complex issues of ethnicity and national identity. The contributors—who represent a number of nationalities and disciplines themselves—analyze how the original Japanese immigrants, their descendants in Brazil, and the Japanese-Brazilians in Japan sought to fit into the culture of each country while confronting both prejudice and discrimination.

The concepts of home and diaspora are engaged and debated throughout the volume. Drawing on numerous sources—oral histories, interviews, private papers, films, myths, and music—the contributors highlight the role ethnic minorities have played in constructing Brazilian and Japanese national identities. The essayists consider the economic and emotional motivations for migration as well as a range of fascinating cultural outgrowths such as Japanese secret societies in Brazil. They explore intriguing paradoxes, including the feeling among many Japanese-Brazilians who have migrated to Japan that they are more "Brazilian" there than they were in Brazil. Searching for Home Abroad will be of great interest to scholars of immigration and ethnicity in the Americas and Asia.

Contributors. Shuhei Hosokawa, Angelo Ishi, Jeffrey Lesser, Daniel T. Linger, Koichi Mori, Joshua Hotaka Roth, Takeyuki (Gaku) Tsuda, Keiko Yamanaka, Karen Tei Yamashita

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"Jeffrey Lesser's achievement is that he and his colleagues have assembled the most comprehensive, multi-dimensional portrayal to date of the Japanese in Brazil as well as Brazilians of Japanese descent who have gone to work temporarily in Japan. Their research deftly illustrates how the multiple identities of immigrants and their descendants, as well as transnational labor migrants, can generate a plethora of responses as to where and what their real home actually is. As such, this book makes a seminal contribution to Asian, Latin American, and migration studies."--Lane Ryo Hirabayashi, University of California, Riverside

About the Author:

Jeffrey Lesser is Professor of History and Director of the Program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Emory University. He is the author, most recently, of Negotiating National Identity: Immigrants, Minorities, and the Struggle for Ethnicity in Brazil, also published by Duke University Press.

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Publisher: Duke University Press Books, 2003
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