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Japanese New YorkMigrant Artists and Self-reinvention on the World Stage$
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Olga Kanzaki Sooudi

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824839413

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824839413.001.0001

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(p.202) Epilogue
Japanese New York

Olga Kanzaki Sooudi

University of Hawai'i Press

This epilogue shows that Japanese migrants see New York City as an ideal stage for enacting grand projects of self-reinvention; they go to NYC to realize the selves they aspire to and imagine themselves to be, rather than discover who they “really are.” It cites the case of Naoko to discuss some of the typical difficulties faced by migrants who return home to Japan, particularly in terms of the job market. Returnees tend to reflect longingly on NYC and speak nostalgically of their time there, rather than talk about the process of reintegration. It also explores issues of aging and gender for returnees, along with the idea of “blank spaces” in migrant work histories. Finally, it highlights the ambivalence inherent in Japanese migration—the uncertainty about whether or not one is really engaging in the kinds of self-reinvention one purports to.

Keywords:   self-reinvention, Japanese migrants, New York City, return home, Japan, returnees, aging, gender, blank spaces, migration

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