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April 4, 2003

Brokered Homeland: Joshua Roth Explores Barriers to Belonging in Japan

 

Photo: Fred LeBlanc

“In Brazil, I’m called Japones, and here in Japan, I’m called ‘gaijin’ (foreigner). I have no home.”
— comment by a Brazilian of Japanese descent working in Japan, in Joshua Roth’s Brokered Homeland

Assistant Professor of Anthropology Joshua Hotaka Roth moved to Tokyo in 1987, hoping to teach English, solidify the Japanese language he had learned at Columbia University, and connect with the country of his mother’s birth and his own earliest childhood. He made a wide range of friends, both Japanese and foreign, including several Japanese Brazilian scholarship students who made him aware of the boundaries of belonging within Japanese society, boundaries that kept even immigrants of Japanese descent from feeling at home. Five years later while doing graduate work in anthropology at Cornell University, Roth returned to Japan to study the factors that divide Japanese from overseas Japanese (Nikkeijin). He focused particularly on Japanese Brazilians who were increasingly seeking work in Japan’s automobile and electronics factories. Roth describes his research in Brokered Homeland: Japanese Brazilian Migrants in Japan (Cornell University Press, 2002). more>

Other Stories

‘You Can’t Hurry the Soul’: A Visit with Artist Marion Miller more>

Iphigenia and Other Daughters Opens April 10 more>

Cameroon’s First Novelist to Visit MHC more>

“Songs to Remember” Honors Tenor Jan Kiepura April 6 more>

Don Quixote and Renaissance Art: A Lecture by Frederick A. de Armas more>

Interactive Campus ‘Time Machine’ Under Construction more>

Nota Bene more>

Front-Page News more>

Happenings more>

 

 

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