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