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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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(p.219) Conclusion
Diaspora and Identity

Mieko Nishida

University of Hawai'i Press

In June 1998 the Japanese immigrants monument was inaugurated in Santos, São Paulo after a decade-long campaign by Japanese Brazilians. Its statue of a young immigrant family (parents and a young boy), divorced from the historical reality, quickly became a political vehicle for state diplomacy, as well as a popular tourist site. Eventually, in 2007, the Japanese government made a public announcement that the design of the statue was adopted for a commemorative 500-yen coin for the centenary in 2008, which was eventually abandoned due to a dispute brought by a Brazilian sculptor who holds its copyright. This episode illustrates that Japanese Brazilians are not completely in control of how their identity is constructed and represented under hegemonic power. The histories of the “Japanese” in Brazil needs ultimately to be re-thought and re-written with closer attention to the multiple, and historically changing, determinations of Japanese Brazilian identity.

Keywords:   Gender, Race, national identity, monument, Santos, Representation, Memory, Japanese Brazilian identity

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