Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-24-2013


Although missing in mainstream studies of American immigration in the post-1965 Act era, the volume of native Japanese living in the U.S. today (called the shin-issei) is three times that of the prewar Japanese-American community on the U.S. mainland. Their curious absence from the mainstream studies results from the traditionally entrenched frame, ‘immigrants’, that does not unfit their migrant patterns. This paper explores the shin-issei, portraying their characters in three parts: (1) akogare (‘longing or desire’) for the West grown in Japan in the late nineteenth century, (2) a statistical sketch of the shin-issei over the last several decades, and (3) previous studies. Backed by their country’s economic global reach, what push/pull the shin-issei are socio-psychological drives and/or big corporations’ business strategies. For them, migrating to America is not an event of being ‘uprooted’ or ‘transplanted’ but a reachable akogare for open-ended dual life between the West and their mother country.


This articlw was originally published in the electronic journal of contemporary japanese studies (ejcjs).



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