Japanese Brazilian Return Migration in Transnational Perspective
Since the late 1980s, Brazilians of Japanese descent have been "return" migrating to Japan as unskilled foreign workers. With an immigrant population currently estimated at roughly 280,000, Japanese Brazilians are now the second largest group of foreigners in Japan. Although they are of Japanese descent, most were born in Brazil and are culturally Brazilian. As a result, they have become Japan's newest ethnic minority.
Drawing upon close to two years of multisite fieldwork in Brazil and Japan, Takeyuki Tsuda has written a comprehensive ethnography that examines the ethnic experiences and reactions of both Japanese Brazilian immigrants and their native Japanese hosts. In response to their socioeconomic marginalization in their ethnic homeland, Japanese Brazilians have strengthened their Brazilian nationalist sentiments despite becoming members of an increasingly well-integrated transnational migrant community. Although such migrant nationalism enables them to resist assimilationist Japanese cultural pressures, its challenge to Japanese ethnic attitudes and ethnonational identity remains inherently contradictory. Strangers in the Ethnic Homeland illuminates how cultural encounters caused by transnational migration can reinforce local ethnic identities and nationalist discourses.
A thorough job of scholarship. However, what makes this lively reading is Tsuda's description about the lives of immigrants and the Japanese who interacted with them.
...encyclopedic, and for anyone venturing on a serious study of the Brazilian Nikkeijin in Japan in the future, it will be a resource bible.
Strangers in the Ethnic Homeland raises important questions that urge us to think about ethnic and national identities in new ways.
Preface: The Japanese Brazilians as Immigrant CelebritiesAcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Ethnicity and the Anthropologist: Negotiating Identities in the FieldPart 1. Minority Status 1. When Minorities Migrate: The Japanese Brazilians as Positive Minorities in Brazil and Their Return Migration to Japan2. From Positive to Negative Minority: Ethnic Prejudice and "Discrimination'' Toward the Japanese Brazilians in JapanPart 2. Identity 3. Migration and Deterritorialized Nationalism: The Ethnic Encounter with the Japanese and the Development of a Minority Counteridentity4. Transnational Communities Without a Consciousness? Transnational Connections, National Identities, and the Nation-StatePart 3. Adaptation 5. The Performance of Brazilian Counteridentities: Ethnic Resistance and the Japanese Nation-State6. "Assimilation Blues'': Problems Among Assimilation-Oriented Japanese BraziliansConclusion: Ethnic Encounters in the Global EcumeneEpilogue: Caste or Assimilation? The Future Minority Status and Ethnic Adaptation of the Japanese Brazilians in Japan