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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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Niseis and Their Brazilian Identity

Niseis and Their Brazilian Identity

(p.68) Chapter Three Niseis and Their Brazilian Identity
Diaspora and Identity

Mieko Nishida

University of Hawai'i Press

The Nisei [second-generation Japanese Brazilians], who were born in the 1930s and 1940s, received Brazilian primary education in the countryside. During the 1950s and 1960s, the Nisei established and participated in their own Nisei clubs in São Paulo City, which were exclusive to Japanese descendants and divided by class, and they practiced ethnic-class endogamy among themselves. With the power of higher education, elite Nisei men quickly moved up on the social ladder. Many college-educated Niseis in this generation tend to position themselves as Brazilians/Westerners over the Japanese and other Asians. Yet, when the time came for their children to choose their marriage partners, some still wanted to keep their families “Japanese,” without having any “Brazilian” in-laws. This is a clear example of one’s multiple identity in conflict. Having distanced themselves from the general Japanese Brazilian population for many years, some of the elite Nisei “returned” to major ethnic Japanese organizations and associations after the turn of the twentieth-first century.

Keywords:   Nisei, Nisei clubs, Brazilian identity, Class, Gender, marriage

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