May 9, 2014/ 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM

UCLA Faculty Center, California Room

Conference: Global Japan Forum 2014

Communities of Migration

For three years, the Global Japan Forum will cover the theme of the interrelation between Japan and the world. Japan’s relative engagement with or withdrawal from the world has always played an important role in discourse on Japan. Contemporary Japan is seemingly poised at a crucial juncture between these two poles: on the one hand, unprecedented numbers of Japanese live abroad, and Japanese culture enjoys a global popularity. On the other hand, leaders decry the apparent inward turn among younger generations, while the nation’s immigration policy is often seen as overly restrictive.

These interdisciplinary conferences will examine the history and present state of Japan’s engagement with the world, including the history of the Japanese diaspora around the globe and contemporary issues related to migration into and out of Japan. Despite enduring conceptions of the closed and coherent borders of national and ethnic identity, Japan has always been shaped by the movement of bodies, concepts, and things across national borders. In particular, Japan’s entry into the modern world involved massive shifts and displacements of bodies, languages, and cultures as Japanese settlers spread throughout the world and the apparatus of empire brought many to Japan from Asia and beyond. What is the contemporary legacy—both in Japan and beyond—of this great dispersion? For example, what form did Japanese immigrant communities take in different parts of Latin America and Asia, and to what extent do such communities still function today? What kinds of social, cultural, and economic communication exist between Japan and the Japanese diaspora?

Communities of Migration

The 2014 conference will examine the Japanese diaspora, the global movement of populations that marked the formation of modern Japan, and the establishment of Japanese immigrant communities around the world, from Northeast to Southeast Asia and North and South America.

Conference: Global Japan Forum 2015