JAPAN 590/H A&S 397

Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:30-3:20 pm
MGH 211B
Professor Ted Mack

Enrollment in this course is limited to graduate students and students in the Honors Program. Please contact Professor Mack if you are interested in taking the course. Reading knowledge of Japanese is not required.

This class will focus on the following topics: the history of Japanese emigration and empire; the history of immigration into North and South America; the global flow of labor; diaspora and diasporic identities; Japanese ethnic self-identity; central and peripheral cultural production; history of books and their distribution; multi-lingual literacy and heteroglossia.

Students will also prepare a number of primary literary texts. Students with Japanese-language reading ability will prepare a series of short stories written (in Japanese) in Brazil prior to World War II, which will be central to course discussion. They will also have the option of selecting texts (in Japanese) from other emigration destinations, such as Korea, China, Manchuria, North America, and the South Pacific. Students who lack Japanese-language reading ability will be guided to other texts, including those of various ethnic communities in the United States. Marc Shell and Werner Sollors, The Multilingual Anthology of American Literature (New York University Press, 2000), would be a likely source.

The reading load below is heavy and contains texts in Japanese. Don't panic. Readings will be divided among class participants.

Reading Schedule

January 8

Japanese Empire and Emigration

  • Akira Iriye, "Japan's Drive to Great-Power Status," Cambridge History of Japan, vol. 5, 721-782.*
  • Michael Weiner, "Race, Nation, Empire," Race and Migration in Imperial Japan, 7-37.*
  • Nobuko Adachi, "Theorizing Japanese Diaspora," Japanese Diasporas, 1-22.*

Modern Brazil

  • E. Bradford Burns, "The Challenge of Change," A History of Brazil, 313-79.*
  • Nobuko Adachi, "A Historical and Contemporary View of Brazilian Migration," Migration and Immigration, 19-34.*
  • Frederick Buell, "Conceiving of the World as a Single System," National Culture and the New Global System, 123-37.*

"Between Samurai and Carnival"


"Between Samurai and Carnival"

  • Stewart Lone, The Japanese Community in Brazil, 1908-1940.

Stories from pre-War Brazil from the Koronia shôsetsu senshû

  • Sonobe Takeo, “Tobaku-nô jidai,” 5-14.
  • Tanabe Shigeyuki, “Aru kaitakusha no shi,” 15-26.
  • Katayama [Teruko], “Natsuyo,” 27-34.
  • Furuno Kikuo, “Haikô,” 35-41.
  • Furuno Kikuo, “Tenpô,” 42-54.

Also: Ishikawa Tatsuzô, "The Emigrants" (or in Japanese as "Sôbô")


Stories from pre-War Brazil, con't

  • Sakurada Takeo, “Nyûshoku kara,” 55-64.
  • Sugi Takeo, “Fukushû,” 65-70.
  • Takemoto Yoshio, “Uzu,” 71-81.
  • Takemoto Yoshio, “Shihai,” 82-88.
  • Akino Shû, “Aru uramachi,” 89-96.

Also: Karen Tei Yamashita, Brazil-Maru

Assignment #1: Identify focus of paper
February 5

Language and Literature

  • Walter D. Mignolo, "'An Other Tongue'," Local Histories/Global Designs, 217-49.*
  • Benedict Anderson, "The Long Arc of Nationalism," The Spectre of Comparisons, 29-45 and 58-74.*

Discuss alternate primary readings selected by students


Japanese Self-Identity

  • Jeffrey Lesser, Negotiating National Identity, 81-173.
  • Oguma Eiji, 'Nihonjin' no kyôkai, 3-15.*
  • Maeyama Takashi, "Burajiru shakai to Nikkeijin aidentiti," Ibunka sesshoku to aidentiti, 5-70.
  • Nishi Masahiko, "Burajiru Nihonjin bungaku to 'kabukuro' mondai," Ima o yomikaeru, 69-89.
  • James Clifford, "Diasporas," Routes, 244-78.

The Global Context

  • Stephen Castles and Mark J. Miller, "The Migratory Process and Ethnic Minorities," The Age of Migration, 18-42 and "International Migration before 1945," 43-64.
  • Wang Gungwu, "Migration History: Some Patterns Revisited," Global History and Migrations, 1-22.
  • Saskia Sassen, "Spatialities and Temporalities of the Global," Public Culture 12:1, 215-32.

Gender, Desire, and Alterity

  • T. Minh-Ha Trinh, "Difference: 'A Special Third World Women Issue'," Feminist Review , 5-22.
  • Gayatri Gopinath, "Nostalgia, Desire, Diaspora," Theorizing Diaspora, 261-79.
  • Edward Said, "Reflections on Exile," Reflections on Exile, 173-86.

Center-Periphery and Double Consciousness

  • Frederick Buell, "The Construction of Asian-American Literature," National Culture and the New Global System, 177-216.*
  • Paul Gilroy, "The Black Atlantic as Counterculture of Modernity," The Black Atlantic, 1-40.
  • Sheng-mei Ma, "Immigrant Subjectivites and Desires in Overseas Student Literature," Immigrant Subjectivities, 93-129.*

Canonization and the Academe

  • David Palumbo-Liu, "Introduction," The Ethnic Canon, 1-27.*
  • Lisa Lowe, "Canon, Institutionalization, Identity," Immigrant Acts, 37-59.
  • Brent Hayes Edwards, "Prologue," The Practice of Diaspora, 1-15.*

Assignment #2: Present paper argument



  • Lisa Lowe, "Heterogeneity, Hybridity, Multiplicity," Immigrant Acts, 60-83.
  • Arjun Appadurai, "Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy," Modernity at Large, 27-47.
  • Homi K. Bhabha, "DissemiNation," The Location of Culture, 139-70.
March 4

Alterity and Auto-Orientalizing

  • T. Minh-Ha Trinh, "The World as Foreign Land," When the Moon Waxes Red, 185-99.*
  • Sheng-mei Ma, "Orientalism in Chinese American Discourse," Modern Language Studies, 104-17.
  • Henry Yu, "Performers on Stage," Thinking Orientals, 153-70.*

Assignment #3: Circulate paper drafts


Ethnic Identities

  • Stuart Hall, "Cultural Identity and Diaspora," Theorizing Diaspora, 233-46, and "New Ethnicities," Stuart Hall: Critical Dialogues, 441-49.
  • Avtar Brah, "Diaspora, Border, and Transnational Identities," Cartographies of Encounter, 178-210.*
  • R. Radhakrishnan, "Ethnicity in an Age of Diaspora," Theorizing Diaspora, 119-31.
Assignment #4: Responses to peers' papers


Prospects and Reflections on the Field

  • Michael Denning, "Globalization and Culture," Culture in the Age of Three Worlds, 17-34.
  • Rey Chow, "Against the Lures of Diaspora," Writing Diaspora, 99-119.
  • Timothy J. Reiss, "Mapping Identities," American Literary History, 649-677.

March 21

Final paper due
Most texts will be on reserve at the East Asian Library.
Some of the readings (marked with an asterisk) are available through the University of Washington E-reserves. E-reserves
Some of the texts for this class require Adobe Acrobat Reader. Acrobat Reader
The stories from Brazil from the Koronia shôsetsu senshû are available online. You will also need this vocabulary list. UW Net ID required to download.  


PARTICIPATION: Each student will be given the responsibility of preparing one reading for each class meeting and presenting on the core arguments of that reading. Students are encouraged to look over all the assigned readings and, when relevant, the introductions of the texts from which they come.  Since participation is a vital aspect of the class, attendance is required at all sessions.  Unexcused absences will affect one's participation grade.

PRIMARY TEXTS: Students will be expected to identify the primary text(s) that will be central to their paper by January 31. Those primary texts that the seminar participants as a group have not yet read will be discussed on February 5. Students should have developed a provisional argument for the paper by February 26, when each member will present it to the seminar. Drafts of the final paper are due on March 4, when they will be circulated to other seminar members. On March 11, seminar members will give oral responses to class members' papers. Final papers are due March 21. Papers should be roughly 4000 words in length, argue a coherent point based firmly in the text of stories read during the term, and cite specific passages to support the argument.  Strong papers will engage critically with the secondary material we read during the term. 

GRADING: Your final grades will consider your presentations and participation (60%) and your paper (40%).  Though the quality of your work is central to your grade, evaluations of that quality will take into consideration individual skills.  Effort will be rewarded.

STUDY GROUPS: I encourage students to meet outside of class to discuss the texts and problems they have encountered in reading those texts.

SECTIONS: Depending on the final composition of the class, two sections may be added each week: one for graduate students and one for Honors undergraduates.

CHEATING AND PLAGIARISM: The presentation of another's words and ideas as one's own is a serious offense; violations will be dealt with according to the University codes of conduct, which stipulate sanctions up to and including expulsion.

ACADEMIC ACCOMMODATIONS: I will do everything I can to accommodate students with particular needs. To request such an accommodation, please contact Disabled Student Services, 448 Schmitz, (206) 543-8924 (V/TTY). If you have a letter from Disabled Student Services indicating that you require such accommodation, we can discuss ways to meet those needs.

Page last updated on February 2, 2008