Archive for the 'Politics' Category

Japanese Diaspora Studies

Two quick items of interest for anybody who cares about the phenomenon of overseas Japanese diaspora culture(s).

1. An upcoming symposium at Düsseldorf’s Heinrich-Heine-Universität.

“Diaspora” is a concept which is paid more and more attention to within the current discussion of cultural and sociological studies. By global migration, transnational economic cooperation and cultural self-assurance the awareness of cultural differences has become more noticeable. Within this context the multicultural discourse broaches the issue of cultural diversity and the cohabitation in a modern society. Because of this the concept of “Diaspora” becomes more important. The pejorative connotation of former times is eclipsed by new positive aspects of the idea. In the new discussion, Diaspora means a position between two or more different cultures and is revealed as the new paradigmatic life situations in times of globalization.

The symposium, which will feature, among others, Harumi Befu, will be held on Oct 3rd, 2007. Check out their Website.

2. (via Frog in a Well), here is an interesting article by Nobuko Adachi in Japan Focus on the issue of Japanese-Peruvians in Peru, the United States, and Japan.

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Tessa Morris-Suzuki on Japanese Immigration to North Korea

Reputed Japanese Studies scholar Tessa Morris-Suzuki has posted a video blog at myspace.com that introduces her Japan Focus article on the penomenon of Japanese immigration to, of all places, North Korea:

Between 1959 and 1984, these few were among the 93,340 people who migrated from Japan to North Korea in search of a new and better life. There were several particularly ironic features of this migration. First, it took place precisely at the time of Japan’s “economic miracle”. Secondly, although it was described as a “repatriation”, almost all those who “returned” to North Korea originally came from the south of the Korean peninsula, and many had been born and lived all their lives in Japan. Third, the glowing images of life which tempted them to Kim Il Sung’s “worker’s paradise” came, not just from the North Korean propaganda machine but from the Japanese mainstream media, supported and encouraged by politicians including key members of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

While the article itself is very interesting, I’m also pretty intrigued by a scholar from my field using new technology to promote her work. I know of few other Japanologists who even write a blog, let alone a vlog.

via I, Shingen


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