Cultural Migrants from Japan

Cultural Migrants from Japan : Youth, Media, and Migration in New York and London

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In recent years, a large number of young Japanese have been migrating to New York and London for the purpose of engaging in cultural production in areas such as dance, fashion, DJing, film, and pop arts in the hope of 'making it' as artists. In the past, this kind of cultural migration was restricted to relatively small, elite groups, such as American artists in Paris in the 1920's, but Cultural Migrants from Japan looks at the phenomenon of tens of thousands of ordinary, middle-class Japanese youths who are moving to these cities for cultural purposes, and it questions how this shift in cultural migration can be explained. Following Appadurai's theory of the relation between electronic media and mass migration, and using ethnographies of twenty-two young migrants over a five year period, Fujita examines how television, film, and the internet influence this mobility. She challenges emerging orthodoxies in the general discussion of transnationalism, demonstrating the disjunction migrants experience between the pre-existing expectations created by media exposure, and the reality of creating and living as a 'transnational' artist participating in a global community. Intersecting long-term, multi-sited ethnography with emerging transnational and globalization theory, Cultural Migrants from Japan is a timely look at the emerging shift in concepts of national identity and more

Product details

  • Electronic book text | 216 pages
  • Lexington Books
  • MD, United States
  • English, Old (ca. 450-1100)
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0739137107
  • 9780739137109

Review quote

This dense academic dissertation from Yuiko Fujita doesn't seem like a typical summer read, but it is a sharp and illuminating account of 'cultural migrants' from Japan, who are defined as 'people who migrate for cultural purposes other than economic or political ones in the globalizing world today.' The result is a smart and concise account of a group of people who re-identify themselves instead of assimilating. The candor of each person interviewed is refreshing, and the interviews conducted in English are deeply personal. It's a satisfying and sympathetic read, scholarly but accessible and interesting to anyone interested in modern Japan...--Sarah Yuen Fujita has undertaken an ingenious study: looking at immigration through the eyes of temporary immigrants. Her lively analysis provides immigration researchers with further evidence of the limits of transnationalism, and media researchers will be remindedthat for some young people, the realities of living abroad shatter the initial media and other romantic images that are often created about foreign countries....--Herbert J. Gans, Robert S. Lynd Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Columbia University; author of Making Sense of America This elegantly-constructed and methodologically-innovative ethnography which looks at the experiences of young Japanese transient migrants in New York and London comes up with some surprising conclusions. Not least among these is that one of the main effects of their overseas experience is a renegotiation or heightening of their Japanese 'national' identity rather than the development of a sense of transnationalism....--Roger Goodman, University of Oxford Young Japanese migrants in the West are constantly remaking themselves and Japanese cultural identity. With great sensitivity and insight, Yuiko Fujita brings their experiences and visions to life, using an attractive mix of multi-sited ethnography and migrant life histories....--Adrian Favell, Centre d'etudes europeennes de Sciences Poshow more

About Yuiko Fujita

Yuiko Fujita is associate professor in the Institute for Media and Communications at Keio more

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