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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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Location, Positionality, and Community

Location, Positionality, and Community

Studying and Teaching Japanese America in the United States and Japan

Chapter:
(p.389) Location, Positionality, and Community
Source:
Trans-Pacific Japanese American Studies
Author(s):

Yoko Tsukuda

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824847586.003.0020

Issues surrounding the differences between U.S.-based and Japan-based Japanese American studies have been important to me as a person who has pursued degrees at graduate schools in both countries. I first became interested in the history of Japanese Americans in my junior year of college when a visiting white professor from Seattle told me the story of how her father helped his Japanese American friends during World War II. Because I was unaware of what the “camps” meant, I was shocked to learn about the internment experience of Japanese Americans. After writing my senior thesis based on a month of fieldwork in Los Angeles’s Japanese American community, I enrolled in an ethnic studies master’s course at San Francisco State University. Later, I returned to Japan and completed an American studies PhD in the Area Studies Department at the University of Tokyo. Presently, I teach at a Japanese university. My experiences in both the United States and Japan have often led me to questions surrounding my positionality as a Japan-based scholar who engages in Japanese American studies....

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