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Diaspora and IdentityJapanese Brazilians in Brazil and Japan$
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Mieko Nishida

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824867935

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824867935.001.0001

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Prewar Child Immigrants and Their Japanese Identity

Prewar Child Immigrants and Their Japanese Identity

(p.43) Chapter Two Prewar Child Immigrants and Their Japanese Identity
Diaspora and Identity

Mieko Nishida

University of Hawai'i Press

Pre-war child immigrants who arrived in Brazil in the 1920s and 1930s grew up as Japanese in the Brazilian countryside, where the Japanese formed various ethnic associations and built Japanese language schools. Counted on for agricultural labor and as caretakers of their younger siblings, prewar child immigrants had little or no Brazilian formal education, but many learned the Japanese language in accordance with their parents’ plan of going home after making a sizable fortune. Young daughters’ sexual honor was defined in relation to family honor, and gender subordination was strengthened for ethnic endogamy. By 1970, prewar child immigrants with fluency in Japanese had come to occupy the important positions in their Japanese Brazilian community in the city and by identifying themselves as quasi-Niseis, they eventually redefined themselves as more Japanese than the Issei and even than the Japanese in Japan.

Keywords:   Child immigrant, Family, gender subordination, honor, national identity, quasi-Nisei

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