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Multiculturalism in the New Japan

Multiculturalism in the New Japan: Crossing the Boundaries Within

Nelson H. H. Graburn
John Ertl
R. Kenji Tierney
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 264
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  • Book Info
    Multiculturalism in the New Japan
    Book Description:

    Like other industrial nations, Japan is experiencing its own forms of, and problems with, internationalization and multiculturalism. This volume focuses on several aspects of this process and examines the immigrant minorities as well as their Japanese recipient communities. Multiculturalism is considered broadly, and includes topics often neglected in other works, such as: religious pluralism, domestic and international tourism, political regionalism and decentralization, sports, business styles in the post-Bubble era, and the education of immigrant minorities.

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-025-8
    Subjects: Anthropology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-x)
    Nelson Graburn
  4. Introduction: Internal Boundaries and Models of Multiculturalism in Contemporary Japan
    (pp. 1-31)
    Nelson Graburn and John Ertl

    THIS VOLUME ILLUMINATES THE COMPLEX social processes resulting from the activism of native and immigrant minority communities in Japan and shows that their influence is prevalent throughout the localities, the margins, and the grassroots, and extends into central institutions as well. It also reveals and highlights some of the more positive directions among these processes.¹ The sociopolitical goal of these directions is to transform Japan from an asserted homogeneity into a multicultural society that not only admits its cultural diversity but also upholds and celebrates this complex political situation. There are no perfectly construed models for a multicultural society in...

  5. 1 The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake and Town-Making towards Multiculturalism
    (pp. 32-42)
    Yasuko I. Takezawa

    OVER A DECADE HAS PASSED since the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake—the most devastating earthquake in postwar Japan—suddenly attacked Kobe and vicinity on 17 January 1995, killing more than 6,400 people. The victims included about 300 non-Japanese nationals in the whole region and 174 within the city of Kobe itself.¹ Kobe has a population of approximately 1.5 million, of which 3 percent are non-Japanese nationals. The destructive impact of the earthquake focused attention on the presence of ethnic minorities, in particular on Koreans as well as on new immigrants such as the Vietnamese refugees and Brazilians of Japanese ancestry. The...

  6. 2 Globalization and the New Meanings of the Foreign Executive in Japan
    (pp. 43-62)
    Tomoko Hamada

    THIS CHAPTER DISCUSSES THE CULTURAL meanings of the foreign executive in the recession-ridden Japanese economy during the 2000s. A foreign executive in Japan has been calledgaijin-jûyaku,or an executive from an outside or foreign country. The termgaijin(outsider or foreigner) has been considered derogatory by some who have pointed out the ethnocentrism and xenophobia of the Japanese corporate world. However, this author observes that Japanese managers are producing newuchi-sotoor “inside-outside” worldviews at the start of this century, and their “centerperiphery” discourses have shifted, particularly among those working for firms that face intense international competition. This chapter...

  7. 3 (Re)Constructing Boundaries: International Marriage Migrants in Yamagata as Agents of Multiculturalism
    (pp. 63-81)
    Chris Burgess

    THE TERM “NEWCOMER” DESCRIBES POST-WAR flows of migrants to Japan (Shimizu and Shimizu 2001: 3).¹ The first “newcomers” were the ten thousand or so Indo-Chinese refugees who arrived from the mid to late 1970s (Komai 2000: 314). Sellek (1997) identifies three further waves of newcomers: female “entertainers” from Asia from the late 1970s to 1986; male undocumented migrant workers from South and Southeast Asia, China, Korea, and Iran from the mid 1980s; and theNikkeijinfrom 1990. However, it was only in the latter half of the 1980s that migration started to receive media attention. The influx of male workers...

  8. 4 Internationalization and Localization: Institutional and Personal Engagements with Japan’s Kokusaika Movement
    (pp. 82-100)
    John Ertl

    THIS CHAPTER EXAMINES THE THEME of multiculturalism in Japan through the example of Ishikawa Prefecture and the provincial town of Rokusei,¹ a community with only a score of foreign residents. Located in the Noto Peninsula in northern Ishikawa, Rokusei is a small textiles community rich in “traditional” culture, kinship, religion, and folkways, and as such it may seem an unusual candidate for examining this issue. However, as a “typical” township it offers insights as to how and why multiculturalism is brought about in a place that is seemingly homogeneous in terms of its culture and ethnicity. The term “multiculturalism” is...

  9. 5 Transnational Migration of Women: Changing Boundaries of Contemporary Japan
    (pp. 101-116)
    Shinji Yamashita

    ACCORDING TO THE WORLD TOURISM Organization (UNWTO), 842 million tourists traveled across national boundaries in 2006. This figure is expected to grow to 1 billion in 2010 and 1.6 billion in 2020.¹ As for the international tourism in Japan, 17.5 million Japanese went abroad, while 7.3 million foreigners visited Japan in 2006.² In this chapter, within the context of accelerating transnational mobility, I will analyze the process of transnationalization taking place around Japan with special reference to women’s border-crossings.³

    In particular, I will examine three transnational flows of women. The first consists of Japanese women who leave Japan for Bali,...

  10. 6 Crossing Ethnic Boundaries: Japanese Brazilian Return Migrants and the Ethnic Challenge of Japan’s Newest Immigrant Minority
    (pp. 117-138)
    Takeyuki “Gaku” Tsuda

    KOKUSAIKA,OR INTERNATIONALIZATION, has become one of the most pervasive ideologies in Japan today. At all levels of Japanese society, it is widely acknowledged that the country needs to free itself from its previously insular mentality and become more engaged in an increasingly globalized world and more receptive to foreign influences at home. Over the last few decades, Japan has internationalized in many respects: Japanese direct foreign investment and international trade has increased exponentially, the economy has become fully integrated into global financial networks, and its corporate offices have become truly multinational (see Hamada, chapter 2). Japan has also begun...

  11. 7 Datsu Zainichi-ron: An Emerging Discourse on Belonging among Ethnic Koreans in Japan
    (pp. 139-150)
    Jeffry T. Hester

    IN THIS CHAPTER, I DESCRIBE an emerging discourse in the debate among Koreans in Japan concerning identity and belonging within Japanese society. Within this discourse, there is recognition of the instability of living as“Zainichi,”or as foreign residents in Japan, and a willingness to consider the acquisition of Japanese nationality as a step toward resolving this instability.

    What is most noteworthy here is the breaking of a long-standing taboo among Koreans in Japan against public advocacy of naturalization. In the context of the modern historical relationship between Korea and Japan, and given the prevailing concept of belonging inherent in...

  12. 8 Transnational Community Activities of Nepali Visa-Overstayers in Japan: Governance and Transnationalism from Below
    (pp. 151-170)
    Keiko Yamanaka

    NEARLY TWO DECADES AFTER AN INFLUX of immigrant workers in the late 1980s, Japan stands at the crossroads of becoming a multicultural society.¹ Global migration has revealed the glaring inadequacy of the nation’s laws and public services in meeting the needs of increasing numbers of noncitizen residents and their families. It has also brought to the fore among Japanese citizens an awareness of the need for a human rights consciousness, which is required to develop universal standards for building a multicultural society (Yamanaka 2003a). In response, a few dedicated Japanese volunteers have organized groups and networks to alleviate problems faced...

  13. 9 “Newcomers” in Public Education: Chinese and Vietnamese Children in a Buraku Community
    (pp. 171-187)
    Yuko Okubo

    IT IS OFTEN MENTIONED BY JAPANESE researchers that foreign children are “invisible” or “nonexistent” in Japanese schools (Ota 2000; Shimizu and Shimizu 2001). Some put the blame on the nature of the Japanese education system for being nationalistic and thus argue for educational reform to accept children with different cultural backgrounds (Ota 2000; Yoon 1996, 1997).

    However, “newcomers,”¹ both Vietnamese and Chinese children in my field site, are quite “visible.” There are signs written in Japanese, Vietnamese, and Chinese languages by the front door of the elementary school saying, “Please turn off your cell phones inside the school buildings, for...

  14. 10 A Critical Review of Academic Perspectives on Blackness in Japan
    (pp. 188-198)
    Mitzi Carter and Aina Hunter

    SCHOLARS HAVE ADDRESSED THE PROBLEMS black people can face in Japan, and these problems, which begin with stereotypical images imported from the States, have been fetishized in the media to the extent that American academics often leave unchallenged the view of rampant Japanese racism specifically targeting blacks. In addition, because most scholarship is primarily concerned with the triangular relationship between African American men and Japanese women and men, the experiences of black women are marginalized or neglected altogether. For these reasons, the authors focus on interpretations of their personal experiences and how they might diverge or stand outside the scope...

  15. 11 Traversing Religious and Legal Boundaries in Postwar Nagasaki: An Interfaith Ritual for the Spirits of the Dead
    (pp. 199-207)
    John Nelson

    AS JAPAN’S OFFICIAL WINDOW TO THE REST of the world between 1610 and 1868, the port city of Nagasaki developed a reputation as a place where the boundaries of a pervasive cultural logic were challenged, negotiated, and often reordered successfully. What is allowed inside or kept outside, what is up front and what is hidden, and especially what is domestic and what is foreign have all shaped the city’s social dynamics from the early 1500s to the present day. Examples are numerous and emphasize the city as a base for late sixteenth-century Christian missionaries from four European religious orders, as...

  16. 12 Outside the Sumo Ring? Foreigners and a Rethinking of the National Sport
    (pp. 208-217)
    R. Kenji Tierney

    ON 16 JULY 1972, ON THE LAST DAY of the Nagoya tournament, what had come to be seen as inevitable finally occurred. A foreigner had won the tournament in the national sport of sumo, prompting the following congratulatory telegram from President Nixon to be read on the sumo ring (dohyô):

    I was delighted to learn of your stirring victory in the Nagoya Sumo Tournament, and I want to express to you my personal congratulations and those of all Americans on your achievement.

    I understand that your sincere dedication to this sport has won you the respect of your Japanese hosts....

  17. 13 Multiculturalism, Museums, and Tourism in Japan
    (pp. 218-240)
    Nelson Graburn

    THIS CHAPTER CONSIDERS JAPANESE DOMESTIC tourism in relation to sites of foreignness within Japan. It examines the relationship betweenkokusaika(internationalization) andtabunka kyôsei(multiculturalism). It is not my contention that overseas travel causes approval of multiculturalism at home, but the experience of other lifeways, other languages, and so on might create less fear or even greater acceptance of and interest in cultural difference.

    By the 1960s Japan had risen from the political and industrial ashes of World War II to become an international success in the economic sphere as a world-renowned competitor in manufacturing and trade. After 1964 the...

  18. Contributors
    (pp. 241-245)
  19. Index
    (pp. 246-252)