Between Two Empires: Race, History, and Transnationalism in by Eiichiro Azuma

By Eiichiro Azuma

The incarceration of jap american citizens has been discredited as an important blemish in American democratic culture. Accompanying this view is the belief that the ethnic team held unqualified allegiance to the us. among Empires probes the complexities of prewar eastern the United States to teach how jap in the USA held an in-between house among the USA and the empire of Japan, among American nationality and jap racial id.

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Understandably, the business-minded, educated youth were most susceptible to his ideas. Disseminated in Keio classrooms, at public lectures, and through newspaper editorials, Fukuzawa’s call for entrepreneurial emigration motivated a number of his early students and others to jump into 21 MULTIPLE BEGINNINGS export-import businesses between Japan and the United States. 16 According to one observer, “[T]he many successful Japanese immigrants whom I met during my 1907 trip . . 18 As their mentor had taught them, these Issei businesspeople tended to view the significance of their ventures as much in terms of Japan’s national interest as in terms of their own personal achievement.

23 MULTIPLE BEGINNINGS Based in Portland, Oregon, Shinzaburo Ban was one of the most influential labor contractors. ” Calling it “suiting the hundred-year scheme of Japan,” he elaborated upon his vision of colonization in the Western frontier: One has to earn money initially as a common laborer, while learning sentiments, mores, and language [of the host society] to shape the unique character of an immigrant resident. To put it another way, he is going to be hired as a laborer at first given the dearth of capital; as time passes by, he will accrue his earnings to invest in land and build a house, making him an independent landholding farmer.

This is how Great Britain has become what she is today. In a similar vein, [a Japanese emigrant] shall be regarded as a loyal subject. For while sacrificing himself at the time of national crisis is a direct way of showing loyalty, engaging in various enterprises abroad is an indirect way of discharging patriotism. . 13 Not everyone, however, was capable of taking up such an endeavor, in Fukuzawa’s opinion. He restricted the practitioners of entrepreneurial migration to the United States to a narrow range of educated, middle-class Japanese, for the national “enrichment of Japan” was contingent upon whether or not emigrants possessed the dispositions with which to remain loyal imperial subjects even on foreign soil.

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