Takeyuki Tsuda

Takeyuki (Gaku) Tsuda is an Associate Professor of Anthropology in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University. His primary academic interests include international migration, diasporas, ethnic minorities, ethnic and national identity, transnationalism and globalization, ethnic return migrants, and the Japanese diaspora in the Americas. His publications include numerous articles in anthropological and interdisciplinary journals as well as a book entitled Strangers in the Ethnic Homeland: Japanese Brazilian Return Migration in Transnational Perspective (Columbia University Press, 2003).

Updated June 2012  

migration en

Global Inequities and Diasporic Return: Japanese American and Brazilian Encounters with the Ethnic Homeland: Part 10 of 10

Read Part 9 >> 

CONCLUSION: SAME HOMELAND, DIFFERENT HOMECOMINGS
 
When I was conducting participant observation among Japanese Brazilian workers at Toyama factory in Japan, I was wearing the same uniform, doing the same type of work, spoke to them in Portuguese, and lived with them in the same company apartments. As a Japanese American anthropologist, I was a consummate insider. Nonetheless, my Japanese Brazilian co-workers and roommates would sometimes mention: “Your life in Japan must be easier than ours because you are an American (or a student or researcher).”

Of course, I was a student researcher in Japan, not a real ...

Read more

migration en

Global Inequities and Diasporic Return: Japanese American and Brazilian Encounters with the Ethnic Homeland: Part 9 of 10

Read Part 8 >> 

Because of their relatively positive socio-occupational and ethnic reception in Japan, none of my Japanese American informants developed negative sentiments toward Japanese society or felt alienated from their ethnic homeland. As a result, they did not experience a resurgence of an oppositional nationalist identity in Japan like their Brazilian counterparts. Some of them do mention that they feel more American in Japan, but it was more of a recognition of their cultural differences with the Japanese than a negative, defensive reaction against them. Kiyoshi, a bi-cultural nisei, was one of them:

In Japan, I probably feel my ...

Read more

migration en

Global Inequities and Diasporic Return: Japanese American and Brazilian Encounters with the Ethnic Homeland: Part 8 of 10

Read Part 7 >> 

The Japanese Americans: A Broadening of Ethnic Consciousness 

Because the Japanese Americans have a much more favorable ethnic homecoming, they do not react ethnically against Japanese society through an assertion of their nationalist sentiments. Instead, their positive experiences as ethnic return migrants increase their identification with their ethnic homeland of Japan and produce a more ethnically inclusive transnational consciousness as members of a diasporic community of Japanese descendants.

Although the Japanese Americans are also treated as foreigners in Japan, such ethnic perceptions do not bother them as much, partly because most of them did not identify with ...

Read more

migration en

Global Inequities and Diasporic Return: Japanese American and Brazilian Encounters with the Ethnic Homeland: Part 7 of 10

Read Part 6 >> 

The social alienation that Japanese Brazilian ethnic return migrants experience in Japan therefore completely undermines their previously favorable images of and nostalgic attachment to their ethnic homeland of Japan. As Japan comes to take on a quite negative meaning for them, many of them emotionally distance themselves from the country and no longer experience it as an ethnic homeland.

Homeland is not simply a place of origin—it must be imbued with positive emotional affect as a place of desire and longing to which the individual feels a strong sense of attachment and identification (cf. Al-Ali and ...

Read more

migration en

Global Inequities and Diasporic Return: Japanese American and Brazilian Encounters with the Ethnic Homeland: Part 6 of 10

Read Part 5 >> 

DIASPORIC HOMECOMINGS AND ETHNIC IDENTITY: NATIONALIST VERSUS TRANSNATIONAL 
 
Because the Japanese Brazilians and Americans feel a certain nostalgic, emotional attachment to their ancestral homelands as ethnic return migrants, their disparate diasporic homecomings have some important long-term implications for their ethnic identities. This contrasts with other types of immigrants who move to completely foreign countries to which they feel little affiliation and ethnocultural commonality.

Although the Japanese Brazilians in Brazil had developed a stronger transnational attachment to Japan than the Japanese Americans before return migration, when faced with socioeconomic and ethnic marginalization in their ancestral homeland, they distance ...

Read more