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Trans-Pacific Japanese American StudiesConversations on Race and Racializations$
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Yasuko Takezawa and Gary Y. Okihiro

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780824847586

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824847586.001.0001

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Teaching Asian American Studies in Japan

Teaching Asian American Studies in Japan

Challenges and Possibilities

(p.315) Chapter 13 Teaching Asian American Studies in Japan
Trans-Pacific Japanese American Studies

Masumi Izumi

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter juxtaposes Asian American scholarship in Japan and the United States, and explores ways in which the field can be pedagogically useful for deconstructing hegemonic social discourses on race, culture, ethnicity and justice both for Japanese and American university students and scholars. Teaching the history of Japanese emigration to the Pan-Pacific region not only helps Japanese students to overcome the historical amnesia about their country’s imperial past, but also helps American students to contextualize the migration from Japan to the US within the overall Japanese emigration history. Structural analyses of race lead to students’ better understanding of different ways in which race has historically created, naturalized and perpetuated social and economic hierarchy within the United States and Japan. Furthermore, learning about the social protest and cultural movements that led to the birth of Asian American studies can promote positive views among university students toward political engagement and social activism.

Keywords:   Asian American studies, teaching, ethnocentrism, historical memory, structural analysis, academic activism

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