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Old 2012-03-05, 06:48   Link #2288
Siegel Clyne
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
The Japanese Diaspora, Part 1

Let us samba away from Lisa Ono's singing performance of "Carnaval" in my Japanese Pop Music: Engrish Need Not Apply...

And explore the exploits of the Nikkei or Nikkeijin - Japanese immigrants and their descendants - in music and other fields of entertainment and celebrityhood (plus maybe something else) outside of Japan.

Regarding my preceding post cited above and my other post it links to, the terms "Nikkei" and "Nikkeijin" covers Lisa Ono, AI and Hikaru Utada, as well JAY'ED and EMI MARIA, because they were all born in foreign countries and spent part of their childhood and teenage years there.

In general, the Nikkeijin in North America, South America, and Australia (but not Nikkeijin in the UK) have used a fairly unique system of categorizing individuals by generation: 1) Issei (First Generation) are Japanese immigrants: 2) Nisei (Second Generation) are the children of Japanese immigrants; 3) Sansei (Third Generation) are the children of Nisei and the grandchildren of Issei; 3) Yonsei (Fourth Generation) are the children of Sansei; 4) Gosei (Fifth Generation) are the children of Yonsei; and so on....

Unlike the case often for other Asian (e.g., Chinese, Filipino) immigrants in the United States, who tended to be men during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, unmarried Japanese (and also Korean) male immigrants were very successful in obtaining wives from their homeland via picture brides.

Those early Japanese immigrants in the United States - and also in Brazil - generally had low intermarriage rates.

There existed, however, regional differences. "A census taken by the Japanese consulate in New York in 1931 found that of the relatively small proportion of married Japanese men, about one third had married non-Japanese wives, and the percentage of Japanese women intermarrying with non-Japanese men was just as high. The significant difference between the Japanese in Britain and in the US is the fact that in America, the bulk of Japanese American outmarriages were by women. In Britain, it appears that more Japanese men had non-Japanese wives than Japanese women with non-Japanese husbands."

In contrast to America and Brazil, the intermarriage rate of Japanese immigrants in pre-World War II Great Britain - where the ethnic Japanese population was relatively small - was high.

Like virtually all states in the South and a number of other states in America, California once had racist anti-miscegnation laws which barred marriages between Whites and non-"Whites", including Blacks, Native Americans, and Asians, i.e., "Mongolians" (Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, etc.), "Malays" (Filipinos, Malays, etc.), and "Hindus" (Indians/South Asians).

California anti-miscegnation laws could not prevent Whites and Non-"Whites" from going out of state to get married and returning to California, nor could they stop White/non-"White" couples and their offspring and descendants from outside California moving to California.

Interestingly, although it also had anti-miscegnation laws, North Carolina did allow marriages between Caucasians and Asians, presumably because it had many descendants of the famous Siamese Twins, Eng and Chang Bunker - who were either 7/8ths Chinese and 1/8th Thai or 3/4ths Chinese and 1/4th Thai and born in Siam (now Thailand) during the early 1800s - and who had married a couple of Caucasian sisters, Sally Ann and Adelaide Yates, in North Carolina in 1843 and fathered 21 children with them, 14 of whom lived to adulthood.

The conjoined twins Eng and Chang Bunker fathered 21 children and now have 1,800 descendants - and every July many of them come together in Mt. Airy, NC., where the twins settled after escaping certain death in Siam.

Likewise, California did allow marriages between Whites and Hispanics or "Spanish" (mainly Mexicans), presumably as California once belonged to Mexico and many Whites who had moved to California from other parts of the U.S. had earlier intermarried with local Mexicans, just as Whites who moved to Indian Territory, later the state of Oklahoma, from other parts of the U.S, had intermarried with local Native Americans. (One incentive driving the relatively high rate of intermarriage rates between Whites and Mexicans in California and Whites and Native Americans in Oklahoma during earlier times was for Whites to gain ownership of land in California and Oklahoma, respectively.)

California's anti-miscegnation laws were struck down as unconstitutional by the California State Supreme Court in 1948.

As the generations went along, however, intermarriage rates skyrocketed for Nikkeijin in the New World, from Canada in the north to Brazil in the south.

Also, intermarriage with non-Japanese became common in the Japanese American community in the 1960s. Intermarriage among Japanese Americans was at approximately 50% by the 1970s, and at 70% in the 1990s.

It begs the question: How much higher is the intermarriage rate now, in the second decade of the 21th century, for Japanese Americans?

While members of the sansei [third generation Japanese American] and yonsei [fourth generation Japanese American] generation may visit Japan, they tend to see this activity only as tourism. Japanese cultural structure is generally not present among the yonsei generation. According to a 2006 study of yonsei women in Hawai'i, this generation of Japanese-Americans tends to assert their ethnicity in such "symbolic" ways as the celebration of holidays and ceremonies associated with Japan, eating ethnic foods, and the use of Japanese middle-names. The study noted that the yonsei generation considered its ethnicity to be less important than did previous generations of Japanese-Americans. Cheryl Lynn Sullivan, an ethnic research who specializes in the Japanese-American community of California, wrote, "It is common in the Japanese American community not to consider yonsei Japanese American -- they are 'just plain Americans.' This is especially true of children who are the offspring of Japanese American-Euro-American marriages." Others celebrate their ancestry in cultural exchanges based around youth and sports events, e.g. Yonsei Basketball Association .

According to a 2011 columnist in The Rafu Shimpo of Los Angeles, "Younger Japanese Americans are more culturally American than Japanese" and "other than some vestigial cultural affiliations, a Yonsei or Gosei is simply another American."

For the intermarriage rates of Japanese Brazilians, let a Japanese Brazilian poster, The Hypocrite, on the Anthrocivitas forums answer that for you:

It took sometime for Japanese immigrants to intermarry with other Brazilians. It only began in earnest at the second generation.

Percentage of mixed people by generation:

2nd - 6%
3rd - 42%
4th - 61%
So, 42% of third-generation (Sansei) Japanese Brazilians are only part Japanese, while 61% of fourth-generation (Yonsei) Japanese Brazilians are only part Japanese.

But Japanese Canadians probably take the prize for the highest intermarriage rates among the major Nikkei groups in the Americas: 95% ... and rising.

According to Statistics Canada:

Japanese had the highest proportion marrying or partnering outside of their visible minority group, as shown in the 2006 Census. Indeed, about three-quarters (75%) of the 29,700 couples where at least one person in the couple was Japanese involved pairings with a non-Japanese person. As was noted in earlier research, this high proportion may be at least partially due to the long duration of residence for many Japanese in Canada, as well as the low overall number of Japanese, which could increase interaction with persons outside of their group.
Although the forced relocation and internment of Japanese Americans from the West Coast in the United States and Japanese Canadians from the West Coast of Canada during World War II, along with things like low immigration rates from Japan after World War II and relatively small populations may help explain the sky high intermarriage rates among native-born Nikkeijin in the Americas, data from Statistics Canada show that the intermarriage rate in Canada is also high for people born in Japan, approaching 50 percent (48%).

Post-World War II emigration out of Japan - like those generally out of Western Europe - is very low. And those few Japanese who choose to emigrate from Japan to the Americas nowadays, unlike Japanese immigrants during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, appear to have much higher intermarriage rates.

High intermarriage rates among ethnic Japanese living outside of Japan, along with other factors such as a lack of replenishing pool of new Japanese immigrants and the historic tendency of ethnic Japanese to advance, prosper and assimilate in new lands, may help explain why no major ethnic Japanese communities one can think of - unlike for a number of other ethnic groups - have survived intact hundreds of years outside of their ancestral homeland.

Substantial ethnic Japanese communities once thrived in Siam (now Thailand), The Philippines, what are now present-day Cambodia and Vietnam, and elsewhere in Southeast Asia during the 16th and 17th centuries.

They ceased existing long ago after the 1640s, "when the Tokugawa shogunate imposed maritime restrictions which forbade Japanese from leaving the country, and from returning if they were already abroad. This policy would not be lifted for over two hundred years."

"Some of these Southeast Asian Nihonmachi [Japan Towns] survived through the end of the 17th century. Japan's foreign trade was now handled exclusively by Chinese, Dutch, and Southeast Asian ships, but Japanese living abroad continued to play important commercial roles, and in some cases to exert considerable influence upon the economies of a number of ports. Still, by the end of the 17th century, the lack of influx of new Japanese immigrants led these communities to either disappear through assimilation into the peoples of their new homes, or to die out entirely."

The Japanese American, the Japanese Canadian, and the Japanese Mexican communities in North America are a little over one hundred and thirty or forty or so years old. The ethnic Japanese communities in South America - Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, etc. - are somewhat younger, perhaps a little over one hundred years old (starting point is 1907 with the Gentlemen's Agreement, which severely restricted immigration to the U.S. from Japan and diverted it toward the south, way south, to South America).

While the future may look bleak for the continuing existence of present-day ethnic Japanese communities outside of Japan past the 21st century, particularly in places like Canada, a number of descendants of the Japanese diaspora, both those will full and partial Japanese ancestry, have asserted their Japanese heritage, if only symbolically.

P.S. The official data and figures from the 2010 United States Census for the U.S. populations of various Asian groups categorized by national origin can be found here: Race Reporting for the Asian Population by Selected Categories: 2010 - 2010 Census Summary File 1.

Using these official data and figures from the 2010 U.S. Census to calculate percentages of those of full and mixed ancestries, of all the Asian ethnic groups those of Japanese national origin by far have the highest percentage of individuals of mixed ancestry: 41.5 percent.

One can anticipate the figure of people of mixed Japanese descent living in the U.S. going over 50 percent in the 2020 U.S. Census.

The 41.5% figure is considerably up from the 30.7% figure found for those of mixed Japanese ancestry living in the U.S. using official data and figures from the 2000 U.S. Census.

The total number of individuals of full Japanese ancestry living in the U.S. ACTUALLY FELL from 796,700 recorded in the 2000 U.S. Census figure to 763,325 recorded in the 2010 U.S. Census.

Very low immigration rates from Japan, very high intermarriage rates of people of Japanese descent, low birth rates of people of Japanese descent, and deaths of the mostly elderly population of full Japanese descent presumably help explain the shrinking number of persons with full Japanese ancestry living in the U.S. from 2000 to 2010.

The 2000 U.S. Census, I just noticed, separated Okinawans and Iwo Jimans apart from Japanese into independent categories. The 2010 U.S. Census apparently lumped Okinawans and Iwo Jimans together with Japanese into a single category, Japanese.

It must be taken into account that many people of Okinawan ancestry in the U.S., most of whom live in Hawaii (I seem to recall reading that 20 or so percent of the total ethnic Japanese population in Hawaii is Okinawan), may have classified themselves as being of Japanese descent rather being of Okinawan descent in the 2000 U.S. Census, as the figures there for Okinawans seem much too small to account for those just living in Hawaii.

Using data and figures from the 2000 U.S. census, an astonishing 66.9 percent, or over two thirds, of the total listed Okinawan ethnic population in the U.S. was of mixed descent in 2000.

This very high percentage of people of Okinawan descent living in the U.S. with mixed ancestry presumably has a lot to do with the substantial American military presence and bases in Okinawa and the many U.S. servicemen returning to America with Okinawan wives.

Last edited by Siegel Clyne; 2012-04-07 at 08:17.
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