Trans-Pacific Japanese American Studies: Conversations on Race and Racialisations

Trans-Pacific Japanese American Studies: Conversations on Race and Racialisations

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編者
Yasuko Takezawa, Gary Y. Okihiro
出版年
2016
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Trans-Pacific Japanese American Studies is a unique collection of essays derived from a series of dialogues held in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Los Angeles on the issues of racializations, gender, communities, and the positionalities of scholars involved in Japanese American studies. Bringing together some of the most renowned scholars of the discipline in Japan and North America, the book seeks to overcome past constraints of dialogues between Japan- and U.S.-based scholars by providing opportunities for candid, extended conversations among its contributors.

While each contribution focuses on the field of “Japanese American” studies, approaches to the subject vary—ranging from national and village archives, community newspapers, personal letters, visual art, and personal interviews. Research papers are divided into six sections: Racializations, Communities, Intersections, Borderlands, Reorientations, and Pedagogies. Papers by one or two Japan-based scholar(s) are paired with a U.S.-based scholar, reflecting the book’s intention to promote dialogue and mutuality across national formations. The collection is also notable for featuring underrepresented communities in Japanese American studies, such as Okinawan “war brides,” Koreans, women, and multiracials.

Essays on subject positions raise fundamental questions: Is it possible to engage in a truly equal dialogue when English is the language used in the conversation and in a field where English-language texts predominate? How can scholars foster a mutual respect when U.S.-centrism prevails in the subject matter and in the field’s scholarly hierarchy? Understanding foundational questions that are now frequently unstated assumptions will help to disrupt hierarchies in scholarship and work toward more equal engagements across national divides. Although the study of Japanese Americans has reached a stage of maturity, contributors to this volume recognize important historical and contemporary neglects in that historiography and literature. Japanese America and its scholarly representations, they declare, are much too deep, rich, and varied to contain in a singular narrative or subject position.

Contents

Note to the Reader ix
Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1
Yasuko TAKEZAWA and Gary Y. OKIHIRO

PART I Orientation 11
1 Shifting Grounds in Japanese American Studies:
Reconsidering “Race” and “Class” in a Trans-Pacific Geopolitical-Historical Context 13
Yasuko TAKEZAWA

PART II Racializations 37
2 The Unbearable Whiteness of Being:
The Contemporary Racialization of Japanese/Asian Americans 39
Michael OMI

3 Negotiating Categories and Transgressing (Mixed-) Race Identities:
The Art and Narratives of Roger Shimomura, Laura Kina, and Shizu Saldamando 60
Yasuko TAKEZAWA

PART III Communities 83
4 Trans-Pacific Localism and the Creation of a Fishing Colony:
Pre–World War II Taiji Immigrants on Terminal Island, California 85
Yuko KONNO

5 Vernacular Representations of Race and the Making of a Japanese Ethnoracial Community in Los Angeles 107
Fuminori MINAMIKAWA

6 Negotiating the Boundaries of Race, Caste, and Mibun:
Meiji-era Diplomatic and Immigrant Responses to North American Categories of Exclusion 133
Andrea GEIGER

PART IV Intersections 159
7 Americanization and Beika:
Gender and Racialization of the Issei Community in California before World War II 161
Yuko MATSUMOTO

8 Sansei Women and the Gendering of Yellow Power in Southern California, 1960s–1970s 183
Valerie J. MATSUMOTO

PART V Borderlands 211
9 Nakayoshi Group: Postwar Okinawan Women’s Articulation of Identity in America 213
Wesley UEUNTEN

10 What Brings Korean Immigrants to Japantown?:
Commodifying Racial Differences in the Age of Globalization 238
Sachiko KAWAKAMI

PART VI Reorientations 255
11 The Making of a Japanese American Race, and Why Are There No “Immigrants” in Postwar Nikkei History and Community?:
The Problems of Generation, Region, and Citizenship in Japanese America 257
Eiichiro AZUMA

12 Reorienting Asian American Studies in Asia and the Pacific 288
Rika NAKAMURA

PART VII Pedagogies 313
13 Teaching Asian American Studies in Japan: Challenges and Possibilities 315
Masumi IZUMI

14 Japanese American Progressives: A Case Study in Identity Formation 342
Mari MATSUDA

PART VIII Dialoguing Subject Positions 367
Notes from Shinagawa, July 28–29, 2012 369
Gary Y. OKIHIRO

Thoughts on Positionality 372
Noriko K. ISHII

Asian American History across the Pacific 378
Lon KURASHIGE

Japanese Americans in Academia and Political Discourse in Japan 385
Okiyoshi TAKEDA

Location, Positionality, and Community:
Studying and Teaching Japanese America in the United States and Japan 389
Yoko TSUKUDA

Positions In-Between: Hapa, Buddhist, and Japanese American Studies 393
Duncan Ryûken WILLIAMS

Toward More Equal Dialogue 396
Yasuko TAKEZAWA

Contributors 401

Index 407

Takezawa and Okihiro make a sustained case that Japanese Americanstudies is best conceptualized in terms of an interactive“trans-Pacific” dynamic rather than simply a transnational, diasporic,or even global, framework. Consequently, because of its innovativeideas, foci, and methodologies, this will become an invaluable,state-of-the-art collection.

Lane Ryo Hirabayashi, UCLA Asian American Studies

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