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Between Two EmpiresRace, History, and Transnationalism in Japanese America$
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Eiichiro Azuma

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195159400

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195159400.001.0001

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Helping Japan, Helping Ourselves

Helping Japan, Helping Ourselves

The Meaning of Issei Patriotism

(p.163) 7 Helping Japan, Helping Ourselves
Between Two Empires

Eiichiro Azuma (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the meanings of Japanese immigrant nationalism. The origin of modern Issei nationalism can be traced to the rise of Japanese militarism in Manchuria in the early 1930s, which drastically transformed the hitherto estranged relationship between the empire and the immigrant community after 1924. For policy makers in Japan, Japanese residents in the United States became politically relevant at this time in the context of the growing tension with Anglo-American powers. The rise of Japanese immigrant patriotism and Japan's attempt to exploit it for geopolitical purposes, did not result in the metamorphosis of the Issei into a replica of the Japanese militarist or the ultranationalist extremist, as anti-Japanese agitators often claimed. Instead, Issei patriotism inaugurated another phase of the immigrant-state partnership where immigrant dreams and Japan's state mandate converged in complex ways.

Keywords:   Japanese immigrants, nationalism, Issei, Nisei, Manchuria, diplomacy, Americanism

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