Redefining Japaneseness: Japanese Americans in the Ancestral Homeland

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2016-07-28 01:30Z by Steven

Redefining Japaneseness: Japanese Americans in the Ancestral Homeland

Rutgers University Press
January 2017
224 pages
6 x 9
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8135-7637-4
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8135-7636-7
Web PDF ISBN: 978-0-8135-7639-8
ePub ISBN: 978-0-8135-7638-1

Jane H. Yamashiro, Visiting Scholar
Asian American Studies Center
University of California, Los Angeles

There is a rich body of literature on the experience of Japanese immigrants in the United States, and there are also numerous accounts of the cultural dislocation felt by American expats in Japan. But what happens when Japanese Americans, born and raised in the United States, are the ones living abroad in Japan?

Redefining Japaneseness chronicles how Japanese American migrants to Japan navigate and complicate the categories of Japanese and “foreigner.” Drawing from extensive interviews and fieldwork in the Tokyo area, Jane H. Yamashiro tracks the multiple ways these migrants strategically negotiate and interpret their daily interactions. Following a diverse group of subjects—some of only Japanese ancestry and others of mixed heritage, some fluent in Japanese and others struggling with the language, some from Hawaii and others from the US continent—her study reveals wide variations in how Japanese Americans perceive both Japaneseness and Americanness.

Making an important contribution to both Asian American studies and scholarship on transnational migration, Redefining Japaneseness critically interrogates the common assumption that people of Japanese ancestry identify as members of a global diaspora. Furthermore, through its close examination of subjects who migrate from one highly-industrialized nation to another, it dramatically expands our picture of the migrant experience.

Table Of Contents

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Note on Terminology
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Japanese as a Global Ancestral Group: Japaneseness on the US Continent, Hawaii, and Japan
  • 3. Differentiated Japanese American Identities: The Continent Versus Hawaii
  • 4. From Hapa to Hafu: Mixed Japanese American Identities in Japan
  • 5. Language and Names in Shifting Assertions of Japaneseness
  • 6. Back in the United States: Japanese American Interpretations of Their Experiences in Japan
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix A: Methodology: Studying Japanese American Experiences in Tokyo
  • Appendix B: List of Japanese American Interviewees Who Have Lived in Japan
  • Notes
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Staking Claim: Settler Colonialism and Racialization in Hawai’i

Posted in Books, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Oceania, United States on 2016-05-29 21:25Z by Steven

Staking Claim: Settler Colonialism and Racialization in Hawai’i

University of Arizona Press
2016-05-28
232 pages
6.00 x 9.00
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8165-0251-6

Judy Rohrer, Director of the Institute for Citizenship and Social Responsibility (ICSR); Assistant Professor in Diversity and Community Studies
University of Western Kentucky, Bowling Green, Kentucky

Exploring how racialization is employed to further colonialism

In the heart of the Pacific Ocean, Hawai’i exists at a global crosscurrent of indigeneity and race, homeland and diaspora, nation and globalization, sovereignty and imperialism. In order to better understand how settler colonialism works and thus move decolonization efforts forward, Staking Claim analyzes competing claims of identity, belonging, and political status in Hawai’i.

Author Judy Rohrer brings together an analysis of racial formation and colonization in the islands through a study of legal cases, contemporary public discourse (local media and literature), and Hawai’i scholarship. Her analysis exposes how racialization works to obscure—with the ultimate goal of eliminating—native Hawaiian indigeneity, homeland, nation, and sovereignty.

Staking Claim argues that the dual settler colonial processes of racializing native Hawaiians (erasing their indigeneity), and indigenizing non-Hawaiians, enable the staking of non-Hawaiian claims to Hawai’i. It encourages us to think beyond a settler-native binary by analyzing the ways racializations of Hawaiians and various non-Hawaiian settlers and arrivants bolster settler colonial claims, structures, and white supremacist ideologies.

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The First Strange Place: The Alchemy of Race and Sex in World War II Hawaii

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Oceania, United States on 2016-05-29 21:25Z by Steven

The First Strange Place: The Alchemy of Race and Sex in World War II Hawaii

Free Press an (imprint of Simon and Schuster)
1992
272 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9781476727523

Beth Bailey, Professor of History
Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

David Farber, Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor of History
University of Kansas

Just as World War I introduced Americans to Europe, making an indelible impression on thousands of farmboys who were changed forever “after they saw Paree,” so World War II was the beginning of America’s encounter with the East – an encounter whose effects are still being felt and absorbed. No single place was more symbolic of this initial encounter than Hawaii, the target of the first unforgettable Japanese attack on American forces, and, as the forward base and staging area for all military operations in the Pacific, the “first strange place” for close to a million soldiers, sailors, and marines on their way to the horrors of war.

But as Beth Bailey and David Farber show in this evocative and timely book, Hawaii was also the first strange place on another kind of journey, toward the new American society that began to emerge in the postwar era. Unlike the largely rigid and static social order of prewar America, this was to be a highly mobile and volatile society of mixed racial and cultural influences, one above all in which women and minorities would increasingly demand and receive equal status. With consummate skill and sensitivity, Bailey and Farber show how these unprecedented changes were tested and explored in the highly charged environment of wartime Hawaii.

Most of the hundreds of thousands of men and women whom war brought to Hawaii were expecting a Hollywood image of “paradise.” What they found instead was vastly different: a complex crucible in which radically diverse elements – social, racial, sexual – were mingled and transmuted in the heat and strain of war. Drawing on the rich and largely untapped reservoir of documents, diaries, memoirs, and interviews with men and women who were there, the authors vividly recreate the dense, lush, atmosphere of wartime Hawaii – an atmosphere that combined the familiar and exotic in a mixture that prefigured the special strangeness of American society today.

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“A Hawaiian is a Hawaiian is a Hawaiian. Whether they have a drop or more than 50 percent.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2015-12-30 22:47Z by Steven

“A Hawaiian is a Hawaiian is a Hawaiian,” said Michelle Kauhane, president and CEO of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. “Whether they have a drop or more than 50 percent.”

Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, “Rulemaking under way for DNA testing for Hawaiian homelands,” The Associated Press, December 28, 2015. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/d5481a15bd164d25ba02fc510473d046/rulemaking-under-way-dna-testing-hawaiian-homelands.

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Rulemaking under way for DNA testing for Hawaiian homelands

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2015-12-30 22:29Z by Steven

Rulemaking under way for DNA testing for Hawaiian homelands

The Associated Press
2015-12-28

Jennifer Sinco Kelleher


This Dec. 24, 2015 photo provided by Pat Kahawaiolaa shows Kahawaiolaa taking a selfie at Keaukaha Beach Park in Hilo, Hawaii. He is among those with at least 50 percent Native Hawaiian blood who are eligible for low-cost land leases from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. The department is proposing a rule that would allow use of DNA evidence as proof of an applicant’s Hawaiian blood quantum. (Pat Kahawaiolaa via AP)

HONOLULU (AP) — When the state deemed Leighton Pang Kee ineligible for one of the most valuable benefits available to Native Hawaiians — land at almost no cost — because he couldn’t show that he was at least 50 percent Hawaiian, he sued.

Pang Kee knew he was, and needed to figure out a way to prove it. According to his lawsuit, his mother was at least 81.25 percent Native Hawaiian, but his birth certificate didn’t list his biological father.

But he knew who his father was. Pang Kee, who was adopted, found his late father’s brother, got a DNA sample that showed there was a 96.35 percent probability that Pang Kee and the man were related, the lawsuit said.

While that initially wasn’t enough for the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, the agency eventually settled, and has proposed rules that would allow the use of DNA evidence to prove ancestry.

Hawaiians don’t typically fixate on how much Hawaiian blood they have when it comes to asserting ancestral identity.

“A Hawaiian is a Hawaiian is a Hawaiian,” said Michelle Kauhane, president and CEO of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. “Whether they have a drop or more than 50 percent.”

One of the only times blood quantum is relevant is for applying for a homestead lease. Those with at least 50 percent Hawaiian blood quantum can apply for a 99-year lease for $1 a year…


This Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015 photo shows houses in the the Hawaiian homestead community of Papakolea in Honolulu.The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has proposed rules that would allow people applying for a homestead lease to use DNA evidence to prove ancestry. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy)

Read the entire article here.

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The link between “tourism” and “settler colonialism” in Hawai’i

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Oceania, United States on 2015-12-10 02:14Z by Steven

The link between “tourism” and “settler colonialism” in Hawai’i

Matador Network
2015-07-29

Bani Amor

Maile Arvin is a Native Hawaiian feminist scholar who writes about Native feminist theories, settler colonialism, decolonization, and race and science in Hawai‘i and the broader Pacific. She is currently a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in Ethnic Studies at UCR and will be officially joining the department as an assistant professor in July. She is part of the Critical Ethnic Studies Association working group and a member of Hinemoana of Turtle Island, a Pacific Islander feminist group of activists, poets, and scholars located in California and Oregon. You can find some of her academic writing here.

Bani Amor: Tell us about yourself, the work that you do, and how your identities play into that work.

Maile Arvin: So I’m Native Hawaiian, and my family is from Waimanalo, a small town on the windward side of O’ahu. I’m an academic – I research and teach about race and indigeneity in Hawai’i, the larger Pacific and elsewhere. Being Native Hawaiian grounds my work, motivates me to write about Native Hawaiian lives and histories in complicated, respectful ways.

One of my current projects is working with Hinemoana of Turtle Island, a group of Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander feminist women, many of whom are also academics but also poets, activists, artists. We support each other in the academic world and are accountable to each other. We talk to each other a lot about current issues that affect Pacific Islanders, usually in news that erases the existence of Indigenous Pacific Islanders altogether, and sometimes write up responses on our blog, muliwai. We’re currently working on a response to the movie Aloha. Or maybe more about the criticism of the movie that is entirely focused on Emma Stone’s casting.

Bani Amor: Word. That leads me to my next question: I often find that travel media and tourism are complicit in settler colonialism, in that it still purports an archaic, false image of indigenous peoples as smiling caricatures who are ready, willing and able to serve at the beck and call of the (white) tourist. Any idea why this is especially the case for Hawai’i?

Maile Arvin: For Hawai’i, because it is actually a U.S. state, there is this incredible sense of entitlement that white Americans in particular feel to being at home in Hawai’i. Since World War II in particular, and the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, there was this narrative of Hawai’i as being the place that militarily makes the rest of the U.S. safe. And along with that, there is also a need to justify and naturalize U.S. military occupation of these islands that are over 2000 miles away from the U.S. continent. So Hawai’i becomes this feminine place in need of the masculine U.S. military to safeguard both Hawai’i and the rest of the U.S. And Native Hawaiian women in particular become these symbols of a happy, paradisical place, a place where white military men will have fun, will get their own Native Hawaiian girl…

Read the entire interview here.

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How the Hawaiian word ‘hapa’ came to be used by people of mixed heritage

Posted in Arts, Asian Diaspora, Audio, Media Archive, United States on 2015-10-08 01:10Z by Steven

How the Hawaiian word ‘hapa’ came to be used by people of mixed heritage

Public Radio International (PRI)
2015-09-15

Nina Porzucki, Producer

Recently, an old friend of mine, Julie Jimenez had a language question she wanted me to investigate: Where does the word “hapa” come from?

Julie considers herself hapa. Her father is from Chile, her mom is Japanese American. And she calls herself “hapa,” that is, half Asian, half something else. Julie had never questioned this definition before until one day she was at the market and she met a women who she thought was hapa like herself.

“She looked half Chinese and half white and I said, ‘Oh, you’re hapa!’ and she said ‘that’s a Hawaiian word, you’re not supposed to use it.’ And I had never heard anyone say that before. I was kind of shocked because I had never thought it was offensive,” she said…

Listen to the story (00:38:09) here. Download the story here.

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But even the aloha spirit has its limits. We must be mindful that the present multicultural society grew from the collapse of the Native Hawaiian population and the dispossession of their land.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2015-09-16 18:40Z by Steven

Unlike the continental United States, Hawaii has no group that is the racial majority, and people can identify with multiple races and ethnicities over several generations. This is the norm, rather than an anomaly.

Early social scientists, the tourist industry, and visitors credit this long history of mixing to the “aloha spirit,” or culture of tolerance and inclusivity, that is the hallmark of living in Hawaii. True, Hawaii is a place where a mixed-race person like myself can blend in, and where people of color are not seen as a curiosity. And yes, people generally get along here.

But even the aloha spirit has its limits. We must be mindful that the present multicultural society grew from the collapse of the Native Hawaiian population and the dispossession of their land.

Rudy P. Guevarra, Jr., “Is Hawaii a Racial Paradise?,” Zócalo Public Square, September 15, 2015. http://www.zocalopublicsquare.org/2015/09/15/is-hawaii-a-racial-paradise/ideas/up-for-discussion/.

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Is Hawaii a Racial Paradise?

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive, Oceania, Social Science, United States on 2015-09-16 18:13Z by Steven

Is Hawaii a Racial Paradise?

Zócalo Public Square
2015-09-15

Rudy P. Guevarra, Jr., Associate Professor of Asian Pacific American Studies
Arizona State University

Nitasha Sharma, Associate Professor of African-American Studies and Asian-American Studies
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

David A. Swanson, Professor of Sociology
University of California, Riverside

Lee A. Tonouchi (“Da Pidgin Guerilla”)
Hawaii

Roderick Labrador, Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies
University of Hawaii, Mānoa (also Director of the UCLA Hawaii Travel Study Program)

Maile Arvin, Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies
University of California, Riverside

Races, Ethnicities, and Cultures Mix More Freely Than Elsewhere in the U.S., But There Are Limits to the Aloha Spirit

Early in the 2008 film Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Jason Segal, playing a guy who travels to Hawaii to get over a breakup, drunkenly pours out his feelings to two people in his hotel, a newlywed man and a bartender. The new husband encourages Segal to think there’s still hope for the relationship, but the bartender, Dwayne, has no sympathy for Segal’s sadness.

“You’ve gotta move on,” Dwayne says. “It’s that easy, I promise you it is. I lived in South Central. South Central. And I hated it. So I moved to Oahu. Now I can name you over 200 different kinds of fish!” He starts naming them.

The scene is hilarious, but it also hints at one of America’s fundamental Gordian knots—race—and the various ways we’ve tried to untie it. The story uses Los Angeles’ “South Central” neighborhood as a code word for a place where gangs are divided along color lines, racial tensions can erupt in violence, and residents feel stuck in the cycle. The implication is that Dwayne, who’s black, escaped all that by coming to Hawaii. He puts forth Hawaii as a paradise—a place where the only thing he has to worry about is learning how to pronounce Humuhumunukunukuapua`a.

Hawaii is one of America’s most diverse and happiest states. Some would contend people get along better here than almost anywhere else. But tossing different groups together also means there are frictions—ones that perhaps are too often are obscured by the sunshine and ukuleles in tourist guides.

So what’s the actual nature of racial relations in Hawaii? And what can the rest of us learn from it? In advance of the “What It Means to Be American” event “What Can Hawaii Teach America About Race?,” we asked a variety of experts on and off the islands that same question…

Read the entire article here.

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Race in the United States – Mississippi and Hawaii at Two Ends of the Spectrum

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Mississippi, Social Science, United States on 2015-09-08 20:51Z by Steven

Race in the United States – Mississippi and Hawaii at Two Ends of the Spectrum

UCR Today
University of California, Riverdale
2015-09-04

Mojgan Sherkat (mojgan.sherkat@ucr.edu)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) – There’s a lot to learn about race in the United States through statistical figures alone, especially when comparisons are made between Hawaii and Mississippi, according to David Swanson, professor of sociology at the University of California, Riverside.

“Hawaii and Mississippi stand out from each other and the U.S. as a whole in terms of health, education, and income,” said Swanson.

Swanson will release an essay on the topic on Zócalo Public Square on Sept. 16, 2015. The not-for-profit ideas exchange board will have a discussion on “What can Hawaii Teach America About Race?” It is co-sponsored by the Smithsonian and the Inouye Institute. The essay will be available on Zocalo‘s website.

Swanson used data from the U.S. Census Bureau (except life expectancy data, which comes from Wikipedia) to demonstrate race in America…

Read the entire article here.

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