The Japanese are aware of the ethnic and cultural diversity existing in today’s Japanese society. In the face of this, the increasing ambivalence and circumspection towards foreigners who are seen as competitors with the locals for available jobs; whose different ethnic or racial origins are considered affronts to the “purity” of the Japanese race; and who are perceived as contributing to the increase rates, is paradoxical. This brings to the fore questions like who are to be included in Japanese society ad who are within the constitutive category of “Japanese” and other unanswered questions about Japan’s situation in contemporary times and increasing foreign migration into the country.
Addressing important issues about Japan and migration, the book is divided into three sections. The first section, “Migration and the Empire,” looks at the beginning of migration in the modern world as being linked to imperialism and processes of nation-building that characterized geopolitics in the early years of the twentieth century. The second section, “Migration to Japan and the Birth of the Second Generation,” mainly addresses female migration to Japan and the children born of mixed marriages. The third section addresses the bigger issue of multiculturalism from a personal narrative and the experience of being “foreign” in Japan.
Published in 2014 by Japanese Studies Program, Ateneo de Manila University.