3550 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90089

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This day-long conference features distinguished speakers from around the world working on the historical dimensions of multiethnic Japan. Spanning from discussions of continental Asian migration to the Japanese archipelago during the classical period, through the early encounters with the Portuguese and Dutch in Hirado, the subsequent development of Nagasaki as a hub of international encounters, and the early twentieth century development of Yokohama's Chinatown and the so-called "return migration" of Japanese Americans, this conference will highlight the long history of multi-ethnicity in Japan that can inform the future of Japan's immigration policies.

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10:00 AM WELCOME- Duncan Ryuken Williams (USC)

10:15 - Panel I

"The Japanese Dream? Immigrants in the Nara and Heian State"
Nadia Kanagawa (USC)
In recent years, the number of scholars who have drawn attention to the critical contributions made by "immigrants" to the early Japanese state has steadily increased. However, we have yet to fully recognize the complexity of the population that the long history of immigration to, from, and within the Japanese archipelago created. The first part of this paper presents an overview of the ritsury legal system and how its worldview was reflected in the categories of people and systems for managing those people that were created by the early state. The second part of the paper offers a series of case studies from the Nara and early Heian official chronicles that are read against the ritsury laws to give a sense of the many challenges early rulers faced in incorporating, assimilating, and configuring outside peoples in their realm. By exploring the changing place of immigrants and their descendants in the early Japanese state, the paper will also explore the strategies that early Japanese rulers used to maintain their paramount positions and the forces that drove the formation and reformation of the state.

"The Open Country: Mapping Maritime Mobility in Early Modern Japan"
Adam Clulow (Monash University)
The early seventeenth century was characterized by unprecedented movement in and out of the port cities of early modern Japan. The result was the creation of multiethnic communities across Kyushu, the traditional hub of Japanese maritime trade. This paper focuses on one such community, Hirado, which functioned as an active node in regional networks of trade and migration. The large-scale movement of merchants, mercenaries and migrants out of Japan was made possible in part by Tokugawa policies, including a deliberate severing of links between the regime and its subjects abroad. This policy found its clearest expression in a remarkable series of letters exchanged between the Tokugawa shogun and rulers across Southeast Asia, in which the Bakufu explicitly renounced jurisdictional rights over its subjects. The last part of the paper focuses on the activities of one outgoing group, Japanese mercenaries employed by the Dutch East India Company. It examines the experience of one contingent of these soldiers that was shipped out of Japan in 1615 and uses this group to assess the nature of maritime mobility in this period. 

Panel 1 Discussion

11:45 AM Lunch

12:45 PM Panel II

"A Mixed Message: Western-Japanese Couples and Their Mixed Race Children in the Nagasaki Foreign Settlement Period and Beyond"
Lane Earns (University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh)
Nagasaki's long history of interracial relationships between Westerners and Japanese date from the port town's founding in 1571.There were open interracial relationships between the European traders and local Japanese women until the maritime prohibition edicts of the1630s attempted to control foreign trade and eliminate Christian influence in Japan. In 1636, the Japanese "wives" of the Portuguese and the offspring fathered by the Portuguese were deported to Macao, and three years later, the same directive was applied to the "wives" and children of the Dutch and English, who were deported to Batavia. From 1641, the only Westerners allowed to remain in Japan were a small contingent of Dutch traders and officials who were ordered to move from Hirado to the artificial island of Dejima in Nagasaki Harbor. Japanese authorities did not allow the Dutch to bring their wives (or any European women for that matter) with them to Dejima. The only female contact the Dutch were allowed at Dejima came in the form of Japanese prostitutes from the neighboring brothel quarters. Throughout the 17th and 18thcenturies, the biracial children produced from these relationships on Dejima usually lived with the family of the Japanese mother, sometimes with the financial support of the Dutch father. By the 19th century, however, there were examples of Japanese women and their children living with their Dutch partners on Dejima or even offsite in the city. Thus, by the time that Americans and Europeans began arriving at Nagasaki for the opening of the foreign settlement in 1859, there was already an established tradition of Japanese women living with Dutch men at Dejima or nearby while the latter were in town. Because the foreign settlement was not yet ready for its scheduled occupation, the first Westerners took up temporary residence at Dejima and the neighboring district of Hirobaba, where they witnessed firsthand the Dutch living arrangements. Not surprisingly, many of these early Westerners, most of whom were rowdy merchant-adventurers and sailors in their twenties, began to make arrangements through local "tea houses" for Japanese female companionship. Most of these early interracial relationships were, of course, fleeting in nature, but a few developed into long-term commitments. After the opening of Osaka and Kobe in 1868, conditions in Nagasaki changed, and its importance as a trading port declined. In the 1870s and 1880s, Nagasaki became little more than a sleepy supply station that provided coal to visiting ships, and sundries, curios and alcohol to visiting sailors and tourists. From this time, more Western men and Japanese women came to enter into relatively stable, long-term relationships, and more Japanese women and their biracial children began to live together in households with their Western husbands/fathers. A dramatic spike in commercial activity in Nagasaki occurred from 1895 to 1905, fueled by wars and military operations in China, Korea, Russia and the Philippines. This meant a corresponding spike in the number of sailors and soldiers passing through Nagasaki who were looking to take their discharge there and possibly set up a small inn/tavern with the assistance of a female Japanese companion. After 1905, however, trade once again declined, and most of the merchants left town 3/4 leaving missionaries, government officials, professionals and a dwindling number of sailors to occupy the foreign settlement. The first three groups tended not to develop relationships with local Japanese women, and the Western sailors seeking Japanese female companionship were quite often retired seamen looking for Japanese women to watch after their residence and their person in their declining years in return for the inheritance of their estates upon death. With the rising tide of Japanese militarism, almost all Westerners had left Nagasaki by 1940. From the 1860s to the 1930s, there were a number of interracial couples that lived in Nagasaki and built successful long-term relationships that produced biracial children. Nagasaki provided a relatively good opportunity for such relationships to succeed, and some families stayed and thrived in its accepting environment. But how the interracial partners treated each other and the expectations that they had for themselves and their children shaped each family somewhat differently. Most of all, with the economic stagnation that gripped Nagasaki for much of the time covering the period in question, the parents, and especially their children, had to search elsewhere for opportunities to succeed. And finally, with the rise of militarism and the onset of WWII, the biracial children were forced to downplay their differences from those around them and do their best to accentuate the commonalities that they shared with the general population.

"The Hotchpotch Culture of Nagasaki: Magnanimity of Immorality?"
Brian Burke-Gaffney (Nagasaki Institute of Applied Science)
The modern history of Nagasaki is a record of international exchange. Portuguese adventurers sailed into Nagasaki Harbor in 1567, gained permission from local authorities to establish a base for religious and commercial activity, and watched the former fishing hamlet grow into a bustling international port studded with Catholic churches. After banning Christianity and expelling the Portuguese, the Tokugawa Shogunate granted exclusive trade rights to the Chinese and Dutch, and Nagasaki went on to enjoy more than two centuries of prosperity as the only place in Japan where foreigners were allowed to reside. The Ansei Five-Power Treaty of 1858 nullified the monopoly, but Nagasaki continued to thrive as a port-of-call for foreign warships and merchant vessels and to broaden its multinational community and eclectic regional culture. Notably, most of the Japanese residents of the city also had ancestral roots elsewhere and so had to deal with diversity among themselves, not only with foreigners. From the early years of the Edo Period, one prominent but controversial venue for intermingling was prostitution, an industry that earned Nagasaki a reputation as a den of debauchery while at the same time setting the stage for the artistic genre exemplified by Madame Butterfly. This paper presents an overview of the "hotchpotch culture" of Nagasaki and the historical processes that informed it, as well as a discussion of the dynamics of intercultural exchange with reference to the ongoing global issue of multiethnic coexistence.

Panel II Discussion


2:30 PM Panel III

"Local Citizenship vs. the Monoethnic State: Yokohama Chinese and the Hamakko Identity"
Eric Han (College of William and Mary)
On the fringe of the global Chinese diaspora lies the Yokohama Chinatown community--a small enclave of some four thousand Chinese nationals. Their comparatively small population, however, belies their analytical significance for broader debates on national identity in Japan. This community represents a paradoxical case of socially integrated minorities in a monoethnic state. Since the 1859 opening of Yokohama to foreign trade and settlement, Chinese have constructed communal institutions there to construct and maintain their diasporic identities. Across the same time frame, they have also achieved social acceptance as members of Yokohama society, both identifying and being recognized as hamakko (Yokohama-ites). This paper explores the historical emergence of this Yokohama local identity among diasporic Chinese, and the ways in which this identification illustrates an emerging challenge to national citizenship in Japan.

"An Historical Look at Japanese American Migration to Japan"
Jane Yamashiro (UCLA)
This presentation examines historical waves of Japanese American ethnic return migration (later-generation ancestral homeland "returns") from the United States to Japan. Focusing on Japanese Americans born in the United States, it provides brief overviews of motivations for "returning" to Japan and experiences in Japan. Beginning with nisei migration to Japan in the 1920s-40s, groups covered include renunciants during World War II, Military Intelligence Servicepeople (MIS) during WWII and after in Occupied Japan, and sansei in the 1960s and 1970s. Since studies of ethnic return migration typically focus on a single historical period, this research illuminates how patterns of migration for ethnic return migrants change over time as political, economic, and cultura "push" and "pull" forces of the two countries shift.


4:00 PM Event End

Brian Burke-Gaffney was born in Winnipeg, Canada in 1950 and came to Japan in 1972, going on to train for nine years as an ordained monk at Myoshinji (Kyoto) and other Zen monasteries. He moved to Nagasaki in 1982. He is currently professor of cultural history at the Nagasaki Institute of Applied Science. He earned a Ph.D. from the same university in 2007 for research related to the former Nagasaki Foreign Settlement. He has published several books in both Japanese and English, includingStarcrossed: A Biography of Madame Butterfly (EastBridge, 2004) and Nagasaki: The British Experience 1854-1945 (Global Oriental UK, 2009).

Adam Clulow is a historian of Tokugawa Japan although his current work is concerned more broadly with the maritime history of early modern Asia. His first book, The Company and the Shogun: The Dutch Encounter with Tokugawa Japan, was published by Columbia University Press in January 2014 and he is currently working on a new book tentatively titled An Affair so Bloody: Conspiracy, Torture and the Amboyna Incident of 1623. He has received grants and awards from the Australian Research Council, the Fung Global Fellows Program at Princeton University, the Japan Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. He holds degrees from the University of Kwazulu-Natal in South Africa and Niigata University in Japan, and received his PhD in East Asian History from Columbia University in 2008. He currently teaches at Monash University in Australia.

Lane Earns is professor of history and provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in social science (international relations) and education from Michigan State University in 1973, a Masters of Arts in Asian Studies from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1977, and a Ph. D. in history from the same institution in 1987. His research focuses on intercultural relations between Japan and the West, seen primarily through developments at the port city of Nagasaki. He lived and worked in Japan for six years and has conducted research in Nagasaki on a regular basis. He has published two books (including Nagasaki kyoryuchi no seiyojin [Westerners of the Nagasaki Foreign Settlement], Nagasaki Bunkensha, 2002) and more than twenty journal articles and book chapters (including "Nagasaki," in Aran MacKinnon and Elaine MacKinnon, eds., Places of Encounters: Time, Place and Connectivity in World History, Vol. 2., Westview Press, 2012) on the city. He is currently conducting research on a manuscript tentatively entitled Yankees in the Naples of the Orient: A Century of American Culture, Commerce and Catastrophe in Nagasaki.

Eric Han is associate professor of history at the College of William and Mary. He earned a Ph.D. in Japanese history at Columbia University in 2009, and an M.A. in East Asian Languages & Cultures at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2001. His research examines modern Japanese history through local and transnational approaches, and deals with the topics of nationalism, imperialism, migration, and Sino-Japanese relations. His first monograph, Rise of a Japanese Chinatown: Yokohama 1894-1972, was published by the Harvard Asia Center in June 2014. He is currently researching a biography of early-twentieth-century parliamentarian and pan-Asianist Inukai Tsuyoshi.

Nadia Kanagawa is a fifth year doctoral candidate in the history department at USC. Born in San Diego, and raised in St. Louis, she earned a BA in History from Yale University in 2006. After completing the Inter-University Center's 10-month language program in Yokohama, she moved to Tokyo and worked for Google Japan for three years before returning to the US and to academia. Her dissertation examines how the Japanese ritsury state approached the incorporation, assimilation, and configuration of immigrants and their descendant over the seventh to ninth century Nara-Heian transition. She is currently in Tokyo, affiliated with the University of Tokyo Historiographical Institute while she conducts dissertation research.

Jane H. Yamashiro is currently a Visiting Scholar at the UCLA Asian American Studies Center. She holds a B.A. from UC San Diego in Sociology and Japanese Studies, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa in Sociology. Her research and teaching interests include race and ethnicity, transnationalism, diaspora, and international migration, especially in relation to Asia and Asian Americans.She is completing a book tentatively titled Negotiating Global Constructions of Race and Ethnicity: Japanese American Transnational Identity Construction in Japan (forthcoming, Rutgers University Press).

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