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.
Subjects: Anthropology, History
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