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Area and Ethnic Studies > American Studies > Asian American Studies

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Issei, Nisei, War Bride: Three Generations of Japanese American Women in Domestic Service Cover

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Issei, Nisei, War Bride: Three Generations of Japanese American Women in Domestic Service

Three Generations of Japanese American Women in Domestic Service Evelyn Nakano Glenn "A richly detailed and sophisticated examination of...how historical and economic forces restricted women's lives and how women devised strategies for dealing with their plight." --Canadian Woman Studies In this unique study of Japanese American women employed as domestic workers, Evelyn Nakano Glenn reveals through historical research and in-depth interviews how the careers of these strong but oppressed women affected the history of Asian immigration in the San Francisco-Bay Area. Three generations of women speak in their own words about coping with degraded employment and how this work related to family and community life. The disproportionate concentration of Japanese American women in domestic service from the early part of this century to the present resulted from their status as immigrants and women of color in a race and gender stratified local labor market. The three generations covered by this study--pre-1924 immigrants (issei), first American born generation (nisei), and post-World War II immigrants (war brides)--were subjected to multiple forms of oppression but were not appendages of men nor passive victims. Dr. Glenn shows how their struggles to achieve autonomy, dignity, and a suitable livelihood were essential to the survival of the family and the community. Although unique in many ways, the situation of the Japanese American woman has important parallels with that of other women of color in the United States. Ironically her role as a domestic cast her in a menial, degraded job but often elevated her to the position of valued confidant to her employer. Issei, Nisei, War Bride is the first study to offer a sociological/historical perspective on these women. It addresses issues about the nature of labor systems in capitalist economies, the role of immigrant and racial ethnic women in those systems, and the consequences of participation in race and gender stratified systems for minority families and communities. Reviews "A beautifully written, well-organized, and sociologically rich study of three generations of Japanese-American women who worked as domestics. Glenn's study fits well into a women's studies collection, particularly with those materials focusing on immigrants or the working class." --Choice "... A much welcome contribution to the literature on women and work and on Japanese American women, in particular. Glenn has artfully combined a rich case study approach with detailed sociodemographics in an historical framework.... Glenn writes well and skillfully incorporates detailed historical and demographic facts with a descriptive style. The presentation of labor statistics is excellent.... This book is an important contribution, not only to Asian American Studies but to women's studies and the literature on labor and immigrant groups." --Amerasia Journal "A revealing view into the role of Japanese women immigrants in the United States not only as domestic workers but also in their family lives. This study is enlivened by the life stories and quotations from the women themselves..." --Edwin O. Reischauer "This work is a valuable contribution to the literature on immigration and an important addition to the literature on occupations. It contains a fascinating and highly readable account of the array of perspectives on work and family that Glenn was uniquely positioned to collect from Japanese women and provides an extremely useful study for those who teach women and work, gender roles, and sociology of occupations courses." --Arlene Kaplan Daniels About the Author(s) Evelyn Nakano Glenn is Associate Professor of Sociology at State University of New York at Binghamton.

The Japan of Pure Invention Cover

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The Japan of Pure Invention

Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado

Josephine Lee

Long before Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, long before Barthes explicated his empire of signs, even before Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado presented its own distinctive version of Japan. Set in a fictional town called Titipu and populated by characters named Yum-Yum, Nanki-Poo, and Pooh-Bah, the opera has remained popular since its premiere in 1885.
Tracing the history of The Mikado’s performances from Victorian times to the present, Josephine Lee reveals the continuing viability of the play’s surprisingly complex racial dynamics as they have been adapted to different times and settings. Lee connects yellowface performance to blackface minstrelsy, showing how productions of the 1938–39 Swing Mikado and Hot Mikado, among others, were used to promote African American racial uplift. She also looks at a host of contemporary productions and adaptations, including Mike Leigh’s film Topsy-Turvy and performances of The Mikado in Japan, to reflect on anxieties about race as they are articulated through new visions of the town of Titipu.
The Mikado creates racial fantasies, draws audience members into them, and deftly weaves them into cultural memory. For countless people who had never been to Japan, The Mikado served as the basis for imagining what “Japanese” was.

Japanese American Ethnicity Cover

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Japanese American Ethnicity

The Persistence of Community

edited by Stephen S. Fugita and David J. O'Brien

Why do some groups retain their ethnicity as they become assimilated into mainstream American life while others do not? This study employs both historical sources and contemporary survey data to explain the seeming paradox of why Japanese Americans have maintained high levels of ethnic community involvement while becoming structurally assimilated.

Japanese And Chinese Immigrant Activists Cover

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Japanese And Chinese Immigrant Activists

Organizing in American and International Communist Movements, 1919-1933

Josephine Fowler

Japanese and Chinese immigrants in the United States have traditionally been characterized as hard workers who are hesitant to involve themselves in labor disputes or radical activism. How then does one explain the labor and Communist organizations in the Asian immigrant communities that existed from coast to coast between 1919 and 1933? Their organizers and members have been, until now, largely absent from the history of the American Communist movement. In Japanese and Chinese Immigrant Activists, Josephine Fowler brings us the first in-depth account of Japanese and Chinese immigrant radicalism inside the United States and across the Pacific.

            Drawing on multilingual correspondence between left-wing and party members and other primary sources, such as records from branches of the Japanese Workers Association and the Chinese Nationalist Party, Fowler shows how pressures from the Comintern for various sub-groups of the party to unite as an “American” working class were met with resistance. The book also challenges longstanding stereotypes about the relationships among the Communist Party in the United States, the Comintern, and the Soviet Party.

A Japanese Robinson Crusoe Cover

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A Japanese Robinson Crusoe

Jenichiro Oyabe

First published in 1898 and long out of print, A Japanese Robinson Crusoe by Jenichiro Oyabe (1867–1941) is a pioneering work of Asian American literature. It recounts Oyabe’s early life in Japan, his journey west, and his education at two historically Black colleges, detailing in the process his gradual transformation from Meiji gentleman to self-proclaimed "Japanese Yankee." Like a Victorian novelist, Oyabe spins a tale that mixes faith and exoticism, social analysis and humor. His story fuses classic American narratives of self-creation and the self-made man (and, in some cases, the tall tale) with themes of immigrant belonging and "whiteness." Although he compares himself with the castaway Robinson Crusoe, Oyabe might best be described as a combination of Crusoe and his faithful servant Friday, the Christianized man of color who hungers to be enlightened by Western ways. A Japanese Robinson Crusoe is flavored with insights on important questions for contemporary Americans: How does one "become" American? How is Asian American identity formed in response to the conditions of other racial groups? When and how did the Asian American "model minority" myth emerge? A new introduction provides a provocative analysis of Oyabe’s story and discusses his years abroad in the context of his later career, placing the text within both American and modern Japanese history.

Joss and Gold Cover

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Joss and Gold

Shirley Geok-Lin Lim

Joss and Gold follows Li An, a Malaysian woman living in post-colonial Malaysia in 1969. After she meets Chester, an American Peace Corps volunteer, she moves to New York with him where she is confronted with the possibilities of being an economically independent woman. This novel explores the paradoxes of an era in which cultures merge and traditions die. It is a feminist manifesto and a commentary on women’s struggles for sexual and social agency in postcolonial Southeast Asia.

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Journal of Asian American Studies

Vol. 1 (1998) through current issue

Journal of Asian American Studies (JAAS) explores all aspects of Asian American experiences through original articles detailing new theoretical developments, research results, methodological innovations, public policy concerns, and pedagogical issues. The Journal also publishes book, media, and exhibition reviews. As a much-needed outlet for the increasing volume of scholarship in the field, JAAS provides an avenue for a quick and lively exchange of ideas. Journal of Asian American Studies is the official publication of the Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS).

Judgment without Trial Cover

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Judgment without Trial

Japanese American Imprisonment during World War II

by Tetsuden Kashima

Korean Democracy in Transition Cover

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Korean Democracy in Transition

A Rational Blueprint for Developing Societies

HeeMin Kim

As Asian countries emerge as global economic powers, many undergo fundamental political transformations. In Korean Democracy in Transition: A Rational Blueprint for Developing Societies, HeeMin Kim evaluates the past thirty years of political change in South Korea, including the decision of the authoritarian government to open up the political process in 1987 and the presidential impeachment of 2004. Kim uses rational choice theory—which holds that individuals choose to act in ways that they think will give them the most benefit for the least cost—to explain events central to South Korea’s democratization process. Kim’s theoretical and quantitative analysis provides a context for South Korea’s remarkable transformation and offers predictions of what the future may hold for developing nations undergoing similar transitions. Although there are studies in the field of Korean politics that provide an overview of this important period, there are none that offer the theoretical and analytical rigor of this study. Combining theoretical perspectives with policy-relevant discussion, Korean Democracy in Transition sheds new light on the Korean model of democratization and makes a significant contribution to the field of comparative politics.

La colonisation agricole au Viêt Nam Cover

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La colonisation agricole au Viêt Nam

Contribution à l'étude de la construction d'un État moderne; du bouleversement à l'intégration des Plateaux centraux

Depuis 1975, une colonisation agricole soutenue a littéralement bouleversé le paysage des montagnes et plateaux du Centre du Vietnam. Parmi les conséquences, les lisières forestières de cette région ont reculé, à un point tel que les forêts n'y apparaissent plus qu'à l'état résiduel. Cette dynamique a permis au nouvel État moderne vietnamien, issu des troubles politiques qui ont secoué la région de 1945 à 1975, de consolider sa présence partout sur son territoire en intégrant les populations et les territoires marginaux.

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