Helping Japan, Helping Ourselves

Eiichiro Azuma

in Between Two Empires

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780195159400
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199788545 | DOI:
 Helping Japan, Helping Ourselves

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This chapter examines the meanings of Japanese immigrant nationalism. The origin of modern Issei nationalism can be traced to the rise of Japanese militarism in Manchuria in the early 1930s, which drastically transformed the hitherto estranged relationship between the empire and the immigrant community after 1924. For policy makers in Japan, Japanese residents in the United States became politically relevant at this time in the context of the growing tension with Anglo-American powers. The rise of Japanese immigrant patriotism and Japan's attempt to exploit it for geopolitical purposes, did not result in the metamorphosis of the Issei into a replica of the Japanese militarist or the ultranationalist extremist, as anti-Japanese agitators often claimed. Instead, Issei patriotism inaugurated another phase of the immigrant-state partnership where immigrant dreams and Japan's state mandate converged in complex ways.

Keywords: Japanese immigrants; nationalism; Issei; Nisei; Manchuria; diplomacy; Americanism

Chapter.  10177 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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