Nikkei Heritage

This series republishes selected articles from Nikkei Heritage, the quarterly journal of the National Japanese American Historical Society in San Francisco, CA. The issues provide timely analysis and insight into the many facets of the Japanese American experience. NJAHS has been a Discover Nikkei Participating Organization since December 2004.

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A Look at the Emigration of Identity from Japan to America

When we talk about the state of the Japanese American community today, one of the most common remarks is how incredibly diverse we are. Nikkei Americans have high-rates of out-marriage to white Americans and other Asian Americans. While this is legitimately new and different from the Japanese America of decades past, the community was never as homogenous as its reputation suggests. In actuality, the Issei brought diverse identities with them from Japan – in particular, centered around the prefecture they emigrated from and their family’s position in a feudal caste system. And while these identities may be forgotten by many …

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caste discrimination identity immigrants immigration issei japanese american kenjinkai Mibun Mixed prefects stereotypes