Course description and goals:
This Learning Cluster will explore the history of Japanese immigrants to Brazil. The course will begin on the Soka campus examining some critical terms such as “Diaspora,” “immigration,” “emigration,” “transculturation,” “assimilation,” and “relocation.” We will try to determine why, where and when did Japanese people immigrate to Brazil and what conditions did they encounter in their host country. Students will read, discuss and analyze a comprehensive bibliography about the topic in preparation for the trip. Before our departure, the professor and a student with IT experience will lead a workshop on documentary film making. Each student will be assigned in a specific job (script supervisor, lighting assistant, camera assistant, etc.) by the professor to help complete a short documentary on our topic.
Students will stay in the city of Sao Paulo, where many Japanese immigrant families live. Among the activities we have scheduled is a visit to the Japanese neighborhood of Liberdade, the largest “Japan town” in the world. We will interview different generations of restaurant and business owners to gather their impressions about what it means to be a person of Japanese descent living in Brazil. On Sunday, we will film a very popular fair in the Liberdade district where thousands of locals and tourists stroll and buy Japanese products and crafts. In order to document the different traditionally Japanese immigrant trades we will travel to Mogi das Cruzes and visit an agricultural collective. We have scheduled an interview with second generation Japanese-Brazilian entrepreneur, Carlos Uemi.
Students will also have the opportunity to visit the Instituto Educacional Soka do Brasil (Soka School, Brazil) in the neighborhood of Vila Maria. The director of the school and students will gather to discuss with the Learning Cluster how their Soka education engages with notions of Brazilian culture and how they negotiate their Japanese cultural traditions within the context of a Brazilian global identity. It will be a unique opportunity for our students to share their own SUA experiences with Brazilian-Japanese students.
During our stay we will also visit other Asian ethnic neighborhoods to interview Korean and Chinese-Brazilians in order understand how other Asian diasporic communities see themselves in relation to the Nikkeijin community. We will interview members of each community and pose the following questions: Do they feel they have “assimilated” to Brazilian culture? What sorts of traditions do they hold on to? What sorts of networks strengthen their ties to Japan and its culture? We anticipate we will have to consider issues of religion, sexuality, ethnicity, family formation and gender.
The documentary film we will be shooting will serve the following central purposes:
1) It will contribute to the critical understanding of immigration patterns and strategies of transculturation in Brazil by providing students with the necessary critical distance from the subjects interviewed
3) Students will have to evaluate a few hours of recorded interviews and determine how to edit audio and visual tracks to create a powerful rhetorical work
4) During our visits and interviews, students will be asked to take copious notes and compare their notes with the response papers on the bibliography of the cluster that they had previously uploaded to Angel
5) The final essay for the cluster will serve to complement the narrative arch of the documentary and provide written complementary material to the audiovisual final assignment
3 Response papers to readings (1-2 pages each) 45%
Production of documentary film 25%
If you require academic accommodations based on a documented disability during this course, please see me early on.
Film screenings (Selections or entire films screened on campus or on reserve in Ikeda library).
History and Memory, Rea Tajiri (USA) 1992
In preparation for the documentary workshop students should read the first 6 chapters of Michael Rabiger’s Directing the Documentary. Boston: Focal Press, 1998. [On reserve in the library]
SCHEDULE OF READINGS TO BE COMPLETED BEFORE TRAVEL TO BRAZIL. DISCUSSION FORUM RESPONSES SHOULD BE POSTED ON THE DAY THEY ARE DUE.
Day – January 1st
The Colonial Years in Latin America (Immigration, Slavery and Race Relations)
Daniels, Roger. “The Japanese diaspora in the New World.” In Nobuko Adachi. [Angel]
Dzidzienyo, Anani and Suzanne Oboler. Neither Enemies Nor Friends: Latinos, Blacks, Afro-
Patterns of immigration
Masterson, Daniel and Sayaka Funada-Classen. The Japanese in Latin America. “The Impact of the Asian
War, 1938-52” and “Looking to the New Century: Confronting New Trends and Healing Old Wounds.” [Angel]
Anderson, Wanni and Robert G. Lee “Asian American Displacements.” In Wanni W. Anderson and Robert
G. Lee’s Displacements and Diasporas: Asians in the Americas.
The Representation of Culture
Day 4 and 5
History and Memory and Representatiion
Fujitani, T., Geofrey M. White, and Lisa Yoneyame, Editors. Perilous Memories: The Asia-
1st RESPONSE PAPER IS DUE ON DISCUSSION FORUM: Discussion of “History and Memory”
Hirabayashi and Kikumura-Yano. “Japanese Latin Americans during World War II.” In Nobuko
Asian Migration in Latin America (ethnic subgroups and stereotypes)
Anderson, Wanni W., and Robert G. Lee, eds. Displacements and diasporas Asians in the
Americas / edited by Wanni W. Anderson, Robert G. Lee. New Brunswick, N.J:
Rutgers UP, 2005. (3-38, 112-121) [Angel]
Asian Migration in Latin America (ethnic subgroups and stereotypes) continue
Goodman, Roger, Ceri Peach, Ayumi Takenaka, and Paul White, eds. Global Japan the experience of Japan’s new immigrant and overseas communities. New York: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003. (209-221) [Angel]
Japanese Immigration to Brazil
Lone, Stewart. The Japanese Community in Brazil, 1908-1940. Between Samurai and Carnival. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002. (57-95) [Angel]
Day 9 January 9th
Japanese Immigration to Brazil (continue)
Masterson, Daniel M. Japanese in Latin America. Urbana: University of Illinois, 2004. (4-10, 112-148, 269-290) [Angel]
2nd RESPONSE PAPER IS DUE ON DISCUSSION FORUM: Ethnicity and national identity
Ethnicity and transculturation
Lie, John. Multiethnic Japan. New York: Harvard UP, 2001. (53-82) [Angel]
Adachi, Nobuko. “Constructing Japanese Brazilian identity.” In Nobuko Adachi. [Angel]
Okihiro, Gary Y. “Acting Japanese.” In Nobuko Adachi. [Angel]
Lesser, Jeffrey. Immigrant Ethnicity in Brazil. In Robert M. Levine and John J. Crocitti’s The Brazil Reader: History, Culture, Politics. [Angel]
Gender and Immigration
Jacalyn D. Harden “The Enterprise of Empire: Race, Class, Gender, and Japanese National Identity.” In Lancaster, Roger N., and Micaela Di Leonardo, eds. The Gender/Sexuality Reader Culture, History, Political Economy. [Angel]
Day 12 January 12th
The construction of national identity
Souza, Jesse, and Valter Sinder, eds. Imagining Brazil. Lanham, Md: Lexington Books, 2005. (211-234)
3rd RESPONSE PAPER IS DUE ON DISCUSSION FORUM: Discussion of topics and subtopics in preparation for the documentary
Immigration patterns (cont.)
Tsuda, Takeyuki. Strangers In The Ethnic Homeland: Japanese Brazilian Return Migration in
Transnational Perspective. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003. (263-321)
Tsuda, Takeyuki. “Crossing ethnic boundaries.” In Nobuko Adachi.
Ishi, Angelo. “Transnational strategies by Japanese-Brazilian migrants in the age of IT.” In Goodman, Roger, Ceri Peach, Ayumi Takenaka, and Paul White, eds. Global Japan the experience of Japan’s new immigrant and overseas communities. New York: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003.
Capitalism, labor and immigration
Masterson, Daniel M. “The Japanese of Peru: The first-century experience and beyond.” In Nobuko Adachi. [Angel]
Tsuda, Takeyuki. “Homeland-less Abroad, Transnational Liminality, Social Alienation, and Personal Malaise.” In Jeffrey Lesser’s Searching for Home Abroad: Japanese Brazilians and Transnationalism.
Roth, Joshua Hotaka. Brokered homeland Japanese Brazilian migrants in Japan / Joshua Hotaka Roth. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2002. (92-117)
Ethnicity and religion
Lesser, Jeffrey. Negotiating National Identity: Immigrants, Minorities, and the
Struggle for Ethnicity in Brazil. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1999. [On
reserve in the library].
Lie, John. “Pop Multiethnicity.” In Multiethnic Japan. New York: Harvard UP, 2001.
Nakamaki, Hirochika. Japanese Religions at Home and Abroad. “Ecological and immunological aspects of Japanese Buddhism in the Americas.” [Angel]
SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES IN BRAZIL (11 days)
Thursday, January 14th:
Leave for Brazil from LAX
Friday, January 15th:
Arrive in Brazil in GRU
Interview Marcos Pesisi (Director of Immigration Deparment)
Morning: Visit the Sociedade Brasileira de Cultura Japonesa e de Assistência Social (Japanese Museum of Immigration)
Afternoon: Cultural Activity
Sunday, January 17th:
Morning: Visit the Farmer’s/Flea Market in Japan Town (Liberdade Town)
Monday, January 18th:
Morning: Mogi das Cruzes (Japanese Plantation)
Afternoon: Visit a successful 2nd generation Japanese businessman
Film and Interview Carlos Uemi
Tuesday, January 19th:
Morning: Visit Ex-Cooperativa Agrícola de Cotia (The first Japanese cooperative)
Afternoon: Film and Interview
Wednesday, January 20th:
Morning: Film and Interview Japanese-Brazilians on Paulista Avenue
Afternoon: Film and Interview Japanese-Brazilians in Liberdade Town
Thursday, January 21st:
Morning: Visit Brazil SGI Headquarters, Film and Interview
Afternoon: Visit Seicho-no-ie (New Thought Religious Church – It inherits its basic characteristics from Buddhism, Christianity and Shinto.)
Film and Interview
Friday, January 22nd:
Morning: Visit Soka School of Brazil, Film and Interview
Afternoon: Visit Santos Port (Was the place where the first Japanese immigrants sailed into the harbor in 1908)
Saturday, January 23rd:
Morning: Visit Museu do Café de Santos (Museum)
Afternoon: Film and Interview
Sunday, January 24th:
Morning: Return to São Paulo
Afternoon: Class meeting/Review of footage/Work on script
Monday, January 25th:
Spend the day in São Paulo
Afternoon: Class meeting/Review of footage/Work on script
Tuesday, January 26th:
Return to U.S. from GRU
Arrive in the U.S. from LAX
January 27, 28, 29, 30th
Editing of documentary film
Adachi, Nobuko. Ed. Japanese Diasporas: Unsung pasts, conflicting presents, and uncertain futures. New York: Routledge, 2006.
Anderson, Wanni W., and Robert G. Lee, eds. Displacements and diasporas Asians in the Americas / edited by Wanni W. Anderson, Robert G. Lee. New Brunswick, N.J: Rutgers UP, 2005.
Dzidzienyo, Anani and Suzanne Oboler. Ed. Neither Enemies nor Friends: Latinos, Blacks, Afro-Latinos. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.
Goodman, Roger, Ceri Peach, Ayumi Takenaka, and Paul White, eds. Global Japan the experience of Japan’s new immigrant and overseas communities. New York: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003.
Lancaster, Roger N., and Micaela Di Leonardo, eds. The Gender/Sexuality Reader Culture, History, Political Economy. New York: Routledge, 1997.
Lesser, Jefrey. Searching for home and abroad. Durham: Duke University Press, 2003.
Levine, Robert M. and John J. Crocitti. The Brazil Reader. Durham: Duke University Press, 1999.
Lie, John. Multiethnic Japan. New York: Harvard UP, 2001.
Lone, Stewart. The Japanese Community in Brazil, 1908-1940 Between Samurai and Carnival. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.
Masterson, Daniel M. and Sayaka Funada-Classen.The Japanese in Latin America. Urbana: University of Illinois, 2004.
Nakamaki, Hirochika. Japanese Religions at Home and Abroad: Anthropological perspectives.New York: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003.
Nobuko., Adachi,. Japanese diasporas unsung pasts, conflicting presents and uncertain futures. New York: Routledge, 2006.
Roth, Joshua Hotaka. Brokered homeland Japanese Brazilian migrants in Japan / Joshua Hotaka Roth. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2002.
Souza, Jesse, and Valter Sinder, eds. Imagining Brazil. Lanham, Md: Lexington Books, 2005.
Tsuda, Takeyuki. Strangers in the Ethnic Homeland. New York: Columbia UP, 2003.