Jane H. Yamashiro

Jane H. Yamashiro is an independent scholar based in Berkeley, California, specializing in sociology, Asian American studies, and Asian studies. She is a graduate of UC San Diego (B.A.) and the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa (M.A., Ph.D.) and has previously been a Visiting Scholar at the University of Tokyo, Sophia University, USC, and UCLA. She is the author of Redefining Japaneseness: Japanese Americans in the Ancestral Homeland, forthcoming January 2017 with Rutgers University Press.

Updated October 2016

identity en

Nikkei Heritage

The Evolving Japanese American Identity - Part 2

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Connected to Japanese Society and Culture

Many Shin-Nisei (children of post war Japanese immigrants) on the U.S. continent do not identify with being Japanese American because to them it suggests a history of incarceration and cultural distance from Japan. For those whose parents came from Japan after World War II, their family history of the war was from the Japan side, not the U.S. side. Rather than experiencing incarceration, close relatives may have experienced the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the Battle of Okinawa, or other bombings in the Japanese archipelago.

Tracy grew up in California ...

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Nikkei Heritage

The Evolving Japanese American Identity - Part 1

Slideshow above:  The few remaining urban enclaves of Japanese American culture and identity.

Have you ever thought about what it means to identify as Japanese American? Why do some people use the term ”Nikkei American” instead of “Japanese American”?

Over the past 60 years, Nikkei American demographics have been changing significantly. These changes include low immigration rates from Japan (leading to a decreasing Nikkei American population relative to the rest of the Asian American population), an aging population, an increase in interracial marriages, and a move away from Japantown and urban centers to the suburbs. The younger generations are more ...

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