Abstract

This paper examines the treatment and repatriation of Japan's "war orphans" (zanryū koji) in order to support a critique of "ethnicity" as an analytical category. War orphans are people of Japanese parentage who as children were stranded in China following World War II. Most of the surviving war orphans were then belatedly repatriated to Japan as adults beginning in the late 1970s. Their stories and circumstances testify to the ways in which concepts of ethnicity and ethnic identity may tragically distort key empirical circumstances in ways that resemble the unscientific assumptions of "race."

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1518
Print ISSN
0003-5491
Pages
pp. 805-838
Launched on MUSE
2010-12-11
Open Access
No
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