electronic journal of contemporary japanese
Article 1 in 2004
First published in ejcjs on
19 April 2004
Revised and republished in ejcjs on 29 May 2012
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Homogeneity in a Rapidly Globalizing Japan1
Lecturer in Japanese and Australian Studies
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This paper looks at the ideological tools that maintain the idea of Japan
as mono-cultural, homogeneous, and "unique". In examining what I call the "pull" of identity, the paper investigates the various Discourses that
maintain the coherence of nation and national identity in the face of the
serious challenges posed by the presence of growing numbers of migrant
settlers. The first part of the paper presents an analytical framework for
understanding identity. The second part of the paper gives a short overview
of Nihonjinron, the overall term that describes the Discourse on Japanese
identity. The third part of the paper highlights four contemporary terms -kokusaika, ibunka, kyōsei, and tabunka - which
form a sophisticated vocabulary that function to maintain the idea of a
unique, homogeneous Japanese (national) identity. The paper finishes by
addressing the prospects for a "multicultural" Japan.
In the migration literature, Japan is often viewed as an
exceptional or 'negative' case (Bartram 2000). Japan is one of the few
industrialised countries not to have experienced the tremendous inflow of
international migrants. However, in a rapidly globalising Japan, migration
is, belatedly, becoming an issue. International migration2
presents growing challenges for Japan, opening up the prospect of profound
social change in a country not traditionally thought of as a destination for
migration. As local agents who develop their practices and representations
in global contexts (Befu 2000; Mato 1996: 69), migrants are not only
products of global change but also a powerful force for further change.
Through their everyday experiences and (re)constructions of individual
identity, migrants can plant the 'seeds of social change' at the grassroots
It is increasingly common for migrants to be portrayed as
the harbingers of a 'new' multicultural Japan. Much of this is framed in
terms of re-constructions of systems of identity. For example, Graburn et
al.'s (2008) edited volume argues that there are already signs of
dramatic changes in the nature of these Japanese/non-Japanese boundaries
within Japan. Goodman et al.'s (2003) work argues that migrant communities
have begun to affect social reality in Japan, particularly Japanese people's
view of themselves as a nation. Clearly, the re-construction of individual
identity can have profound and real consequences for national identity. As
Keith (1993: 31) argues, the push and pull of identity is not "some sort of
surface froth that floats around on top of more important social processes".
Rather, as Harvey (2000: 119) puts it, the way individuals negotiate
representations of Self and Other "constitutes an important mapping of the
basic contours of politics and struggle within the social body." Japan as a
fairly homogeneous and stable society, commonly cited for its conservatism
and cultural uniqueness, provides an interesting case study for examining
how powerful regimes of representation respond to increasing numbers of
newcomers challenging the notion of Japan(ese) as homogeneous.
This paper looks at the ideological tools that maintain the
idea of Japan as mono-cultural, homogeneous, and 'unique'. In examining what
I call the 'pull' of identity, I investigate the various discourses
that maintain the coherence of nation and national identity in the face of
the serious challenges posed by the presence of growing numbers of migrant
settlers. The paper proceeds as follows. First, I present an analytical
framework for understanding identity. Second, I present a short overview of
Nihonjinron, the overall term that describes the Discourse on Japanese
identity. Third, I highlight four contemporary terms which form a
sophisticated vocabulary that function to maintain the idea of a unique,
homogeneous Japanese (national) identity. The paper finishes by addressing
the prospects for a 'multicultural' Japan.
The Push and Pull of Identity
For Foucault (1983: 212), modern day power-plays revolve
around the question, 'Who are we?'. As the pace of globalisation increases,
these questions of identity become even more pressing. According to Foucault
(1983: 212-3), contemporary power-plays are less likely to be 'struggles'
against forms of domination or exploitation and more likely to be attempts
to loosen and transform the ties that attach individuals to their own
identities in constraining ways and make them subject to someone else by
control and dependence. In the context of Japan, migrants and others 'push' against
conventional representations of Japan(ese) as homogeneous, while various
ideologies 'pull' them back into conventional subject positions. This notion
of a 'push and pull' is central to the idea of globalisation as a symbolic
process which involves both a loosening and the maintenance of national
identity. There is a loosening of the extent individuals identify with the
nation which, according to Stuart Hall (1992: 302), results in stronger and
new identities 'above and below the level of the nation-state'. On the other
hand, these processes of detachment are often counter-acted by 'tradition'
(Robins 1991) or 'Discourses of place', parallel processes that attempt to "solidify porous borders, bolster breached containments, arrest the erosion
of identities, and revitalize faded essences" (Luke and Tuathail 1998: 73).
Hall (1996) presents an analytical framework which theorises this
push and pull of identity. Identity, according to Hall, is constructed at the
point of intersection ('suture') between external Discourses and practices and
the internal psychic processes that produce subjectivities. For Hall (1996:6),
identity (or more accurately identities) is/are simply "points of temporary
attachment to the subject positions which discursive practices construct for us."
The subject can choose (within certain parameters) to identify partly, wholly, or
not at all with the 'positions to which they are summoned' (Hall 1996: 14).
"[T]he question, and the theorisation, of identity", Hall (1996: 16) concludes,
"... is only likely to be advanced when ... the suturing of the psychic and the discursive
in their constitution, are fully and unambiguously acknowledged."
The work of Penny Kinnear (2001) illustrates how Hall's
framework may be applied in practice. Using oral and written material, Kinnear has analysed how individuals growing up as a child of one Japanese
and one non-Japanese in Japan talk about who they are and how they became
that person. She concludes that identity is not a question of either/or but
constructed in dialogue. Much of the tension in the experiences of her
subjects, she concludes, was not between 'two' cultures but between the
individual's own experiences, the meanings attached to, and the tools used
for interpreting those experiences (that is, subjectivity) and the
stereotypical experiences he or she is supposed to undergo (that is,
Discourse). One of her key findings concerns the importance for her
participants of constructing a 'new place' for themselves in society.
"[I]dentities can function as points of identification and
attachment", writes Hall (1996: 4/5), "only because of their capacity to exclude,
to leave out, to render 'outside'." As Said (1978) has argued, Self is defined
less by what one is and more by what one is not, through a process of 'Othering'.
Both Derrida's 'violent hierarchy' (such as man vs. woman) and Foucault's
'dividing practices' (such as the mad vs. the sane) depend on the idea that one's
identity is based on negating or excluding something. "The subject is either
divided inside himself [sic] or divided from others", writes Foucault (1983:
208), "[t]his process objectivizes him [sic]." As Butler (1993: 22) argues, all
identities operate through exclusion − through the construction of marginalised
subjects. In the case of Japan, a key hierarchy or binary is that of Japanese vs.
foreigner. The marginalisation and exclusion of the latter is crucial to the
self-identity of the former (Creighton 1997: 212).
Since identities are not unified or fixed but constantly in the
process of change and transformation, individuals push against and attempt to
disturb such binaries while at the same time being pulled back into place. There
is a dynamic and ongoing power-play. Hall (1996: 5), drawing on Laclau, notes how
'the constitution of a social identity is an act of power' since 'if an
objectivity manages to partially affirm itself it is only by repressing that
which threatens it.' Representations of difference are central to the exercise of
power. The concept of insider (Self) − and their position in the social hierarchy
that gives access to wealth and power − can only continue to exist by maintaining
a strict definition of who is an outsider (Other) (Breger and Hill 1998: 7/8;
Johnson and Warren 1994: 3/7).
Even so-called 'multicultural' societies like Australia take
care (perhaps even more care) to construct categories and draw clear
boundaries around people (Hage 1999). Those subject to such categorisation
are to greater or lesser extents able to displace the stereotypes and
mobilise and accumulate power. The power plays are full of contradictions,
something particularly apparent in contemporary Japan. For example, in Japan
the widespread acceptance at many levels for 'internationalisation', 'out'
marriage, and 'difference' appears to conflict with established notions of
Japanese identity based as it is on 'blood' and the importance of
assimilation (Nakamatsu 2002: 148/53). Central government policy guidelines
to local ward offices encouraging the 'importation' of foreign brides as a
crucial element of 'village revitalisation' (mura okoshi) contrast
with a national policy which does not welcome and only reluctantly
recognises the settlement of foreign migrants in Japan. In order to
understand such contradictions, it is useful to briefly consider the
theories of Japanese (national) identity which underlie contemporary regimes
The nationalistic ideologies of race that developed in the
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries formed the basis for the contemporary
Discourse on national identity known today as Nihonjinron. Thus, although
Nihonjinron is often written about as a post-war phenomenon (Oguma 1995), many of
its major themes can be traced back to the Tokugawa period (Kawamura 1980: 44).
With the period of nation-building following the Meiji Restoration (1868),
discussions of Japanese identity acquired both a new Other − the West − and a new
urgency (Pyle 1969).
For a short period following end of the war, discussions of
Japanese identity were more subdued. But with the new-found economic
prosperity in the 1960s attention again shifted to the positive dimensions
of that identity (Lie 2001: 132). As Japan's economy became stronger in the
1970s and 1980s, so Nihonjinron-related publications increased (Yamawaki
2000: 48). These post-war discussions resembled pre-war ideologies in all
but two respects: lack of mention of the emperor and the low level of state
involvement (Befu 2001: 140). Thus, at least until relatively recently, post-war
discussions on identity in Japan tended not to mobilise common symbols of
national unity, such as flag, anthem, and monarchy. Such symbols were
largely discredited post-1945 due to their wartime connections. Befu (2001:
chapter 5) argues that because Japan was no longer able to exploit such
national symbols effectively, there emerged a kind of identity or symbolic
vacuum which was filled by Nihonjinron. The term Nihonjinron thus describes
pre-war Discourses of identity shorn of their imperialistic and war-time
symbolism. Mouer and Sugimoto (1986: 406) note that the Nihonjinron
Discourse has two central tenets: Japanese society is 'uniquely' unique and
group orientation is the dominant cultural pattern which shapes behaviour. A
central premise of Nihonjinron is that the Japanese are a homogeneous people
(tan'itsu minzoku) which constitute a racially unified nation (tan'itsu
Compared with the period up until the end of the war, the role of
the state in directly creating and propagating ideologies of identity is much
less. There is no secret police, Imperial Rescript on Education, nor morality
texts in schools. The level of state involvement and coercion is less overt and
more subtle and indirect (Befu 2001: 140). But what Anderson (1983: 104) calls
'official nationalism' − "a systematic, even Machiavellian, instilling of
nationalist ideology through the mass media, the educational system,
administrative regulations, and so forth" − has not disappeared. Mouer and
Sugimoto (1986: 170) note that Nihonjinron has become a major point of reference
in justifying the conservative policies of the LDP. Occasionally, the government
takes a direct role in deliberately introducing and officially sanctioning
Nihonjinron as an ideology. For example, the Japanese government and affiliated
organisations, such as the Japan Foundation, expend much energy in propagating
Nihonjinron abroad (Befu 2001: 82; Mouer and Sugimoto 1986: 177-81). And, as we
will soon see, Prime Minister Nakasone played an important role in the
promulgation of the
kokusaika (internationalisation) Discourse.
Most of the time, however, maintenance of ideologies of
homogeneity is not a project of the state. Rather, it is a project of a
varied and disparate group of individual power-holders for whom the support
of a particular national identity is a way of maintaining their own
power-base. Much of the Nihonjinron material is produced by intellectuals
and others in books, magazines, newspapers, TV, public lectures, and even
college courses (Befu 2001: 46). However, governments and other official
organisations turn it into a dominant ideology (Befu 2001: 81), sponsoring,
maintaining, and supporting it via the corporate establishment. There have
been detailed analyses (for example, Oguma 1995; Yoshino 1992) of how
academic, business, labour and other elites play a central role in
systematizing, endorsing, and diffusing these ideas and ideals of identity
to the general population. "Given the importance of national identity as a
cultural glue binding them to society", writes Pak (1998: 32), "state actors
clearly have a vested interest in managing its construction." As Mouer and
Sugimoto (1986: 169) put it, Nihonjinron has been used as an ideology to
enhance the interests of those in control within Japan.
Identity is at the core of Nihonjinron (Befu 2001: 119).
Dale (1986: 119) defines Nihonjinron as 'discussions of Japanese identity'.
As a discourse on national identity, Nihonjinron is not unique. Befu (2001:
14) characterises it as a species of cultural nationalism which is found
everywhere4. As with
other species of cultural nationalism, the printed word is central, making
it possible to 'think' the kind of imagined community that is the nation
(Anderson 1983: 28-31). Nihonjinron has much in common with those forms of
nationalism that are adopted by regions or states previously dominated by
the West as a means of reclaiming their own identities (Clammer 2000: 205;
Moeran 1989: 183-4). Working within the same ideological framework that is
the Asian Values discourse (Hill 2000), Nihonjinron is an indigenous
Occidentalism that takes the form of a self, auto, or inverse Orientalism
(Aoki 1990: 149-50; Iwabuchi 1994; Moeran 1990: 3).
In the 1990s, perhaps partly due to the recession, interest in
Nihonjinron subsided somewhat. With the passing of the anthem and flag bills in
1999 and a rise in rhetoric reminiscent of the pre-war era, the symbolic vacuum
described by Befu as Nihonjinron's raison d'être may be filling. Yet, despite
reports of its demise, Nihonjinron appears remarkably resilient. Sugimoto (1997:
ix) argues that the view that Japan comprises an extremely homogeneous culture is
still 'dominant and pervasive'. Befu (2001: 14) notes that important Nihonjinron
publications continue to be published: for example,
Fujiwara’s (2005) Kokka no Hinkaku,
which advertised itself as kakkiteki (epoch-making)nihonron, sold over 2 million copies in its first two years
alone. Perhaps, as Befu (2001: 140) suggests,
present-day Nihonjinron is a 'stronger, more firmly rooted' ideology than wartime Nihonjinron because it gains its support not centrally from the state apparatus
but emanates from the grass-roots5.
The strength of Nihonjinron ideologies is being (or will
soon be) tested in a Japan which may have reached (or be reaching) a
critical mass in terms of numbers of international migrant settlers. Those
investing their future in the country will find it hard to tolerate a
national identity based on ethnic homogeneity which "automatically excludes
other ethnic groups from citizenship in a cultural sense and ignores their
contributions" (Befu 2001: 84). As with identity in general, Japanese
identity is reconstituted through a process of ethnic 'Othering' which
places non-Japanese in diametric opposition to the Japanese in terms of
class, culture, and ethnicity (Lie 2000). Befu's (2001: 44) observation that
there is a total absence of a women's perspective in the Nihonjinron
literature may provide further incentive for female settlers in particular
to challenge this 'hegemonic' ideology of Japanese (national) identity.
Contemporary Maintainers of Japanese (National) Identity
Because it is no longer tenable to maintain (national)
identities through processes of overt exclusion, the maintenance of Japanese
identity often manifests itself in rather sophisticated forms which at first
glance seem to promote inclusion over exclusion. Hage (1999: 134-8) refers
to this as the 'dialectic of inclusion and exclusion'. Nakamatsu (2002:
152/3), drawing on Ang (1996), sees Discourses like kokusaika as
examples of a process of 'Othering' not by exclusion but by inclusion.
Similarly, Suzuki (2000: 156) sees the 'pervasive political rhetoric' of
kokusaika and its offshoots as attempts to incorporate, isolate, and
control alien entities. Discourses such as kokusaika can act as
powerful signifiers which 'include' foreigners by locking them into a
particular category of difference. With stereotypical forms of difference as
the basis for inclusion, subjects are sometimes marginalised and denied
access to mainstream sites of power and full participation in the community.
The use of difference as a tool of inclusion disguises similarities,
explaining why, for example, foreign brides are rarely treated as the 'ordinary wives' of Japanese (Piper 1997: 322).
Mackie (1998: 45/58; 2002: 181/191) has noted that recent
patterns of labour and marriage migration have meant that those 'Others' who
are so crucial to the construction of Japanese identity are no longer safely
displaced or externalised but are within the boundaries of Japan itself. "It
is thus necessary", she (2002: 191) argues, "to displace these 'others'
through discursive means." The sections below cover four of the most
powerful discourses of displacement. The first two are the familiar
kokusaika (internationalisation) and ibunka (different culture) discourses. The third is the increasingly popular (and even more
sophisticated) discourse of 'co-existence' (kyōsei). The fourth is
the emerging discourse of tabunka (multiculturalism). These discourses can be said to be sophisticated because they give the impression
of 'an ideological shift from an ideology of homogeneity to an ideology of
difference, while in actuality maintaining and
reinforcing the former.
In English, 'internationalisation' implies both a physical
and psychological opening up. In this sense, Japan's rush to modernise (kindaika)
and 'catch-up' with the West post-1868 can be seen as a form of
internationalisation. In terms of military strength and international
status, the race to catch up was complete by the end of World War One.
Post-1945, the race to catch up was largely run by the 1970s. It was also
during the 1970s that the term kokusaika emerged, mainly in response
to the impact of international trade and other economic developments on
Japanese society (Pak 1998: 81). Kokusaika became firmly rooted in
popular currency following the establishment of the Nakasone cabinet in 1982
and closer ties with conservative governments in Europe and America
(Asahi Dictionary of Current Terminology 2002: 334). Hook (1992: 1)
identifies Nakasone's 1984 pledge to transform Japan into an 'international
country' as a seminal moment in the development of the term kokusaika.
In one Japanese dictionary (Kōjien 1996), kokusaika
is simply defined as 'broadening out on an international scale' (kokusai-teki
na kibo ni hirogaru koto). But although kokusaika is usually
translated as 'internationalisation', kokusaika appears somewhat
different to the English term. As IMIDAS (1990: 444) notes, one of the
biggest problems with kokusaika is that it reinforces the idea of a
mono-ethnic nation (tan'itsu minzoku kokka) through the control and
possession of others. "In this way", it (1990: 444) concludes, "the idea and
the system that focuses on one's own culture is expanded as it is throughout
the world." In other words, kokusaika is characterised less with an
opening up − as had been the case with the modernisation process − and more with
a defensive turning in:
Japan embarked on kokusaika in the 1980's primarily
to alleviate the foreign pressure to open up its markets to foreign goods
and services. Former prime-minister Yasuhiro Nakasone made kokusaika
an official policy when he declared the creation of a kokusai kokka nihon
('an international country Japan') at the ninety-seventh session of the
Japanese Parliament in 1984 (Itoh 1998: 6).
As government policy, kokusaika was a kind of
defensive reaction to foreign pressure, a process in which Japan attempted
to exercise some control over her own fate. According to the Asahi
Dictionary of Current Terminology (1997: 306), the term entered the
vernacular in the 1980s in response to the 'problems' stemming from the
huge increase in traffic across borders facing Japan. In other words, as
Toru Yano observes in a Japan Times article (1986a), external events,
such as the managed decline in the value of the dollar by 40% in 1985,
obliged Japan to take up kokusaika as a way of diffusing growing foreign
The Japanese sociolinguist Takao Suzuki makes it very clear
that kokusaika is very different to 'internationalisation'. According
to Suzuki (1995: 162-4), kokusaika is about adding a Japanese
perspective to the international order, spreading Japanese culture, values,
and history, and helping people see the world through Japanese eyes.
Kokusaika is, in Suzuki's words, a rather 'unpleasant, tough, and dirty
job' that Japan would be happier not to be involved in; nevertheless, in
order to preserve Japan's interests and promote the 'correct understanding
of Japan' it is something that must be done (Suzuki 1995: 163/64/70). In
other words, kokusaika is less about transcending cultural barriers
and more about protecting them:
[Kokusaika] is a conservative policy that reflects the
other side of a renewed sense of Japanese national pride, if not
nationalism ... instead of opening up Japan to the struggle of different nationalities
and ethnicities, the policy of internationalization implies the opposite: the
thorough domestication of the foreign and the dissemination of Japanese culture
throughout the world (Ivy 1995: 3).
Ivy identifies two strands to the kokusaika
Discourse: the Japanisation of the foreign in the world (as elaborated upon
by Suzuki) and Japanisation of the foreign in Japan. Both concern themselves
with the maintenance of mono-ethnic ideologies and national identity: as
Johnson (1983: 32) puts it kokusaika "is merely the latest code word
or jargon expression for a much longer standing tradition of intellectual
discourse [Nihonjinron] about Japan." There is a vast literature (for
example, Befu 1983; Itoh 1998: 12; Iwabuchi 1994; McCormack 1996a; McVeigh
1997: 65ff; Mouer and Sugimoto 1986: 377-404; Russel 1995: 92; Smith 1997:
32/3; Susser 1998: 65) which supports Johnson's argument, a literature that
cannot possibly be covered here. It is probably sufficient to note that it
is hardly a coincidence that the architect of the kokusaika slogan
was also the figure most closely associated with the promulgation of
In 1986, Nakasone made public pronouncements on Japan's
ethnic purity and homogeneity, attributing Japan's economic success (and
America's failure) to its identity as a tan'itsu minzoku kokka (Japan
Times 1986b; 1986c; 1986d; 1986e; 1986f). Nakasone was also instrumental
in setting up the controversial International Research Centre for Japanese
Studies in Kyoto in 1988 (Sugimoto and Mouer 1989: 24-6). Finally, it was
Nakasone who put forth the 1983 plan to host 100,000 foreign students and
who was involved in setting up the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET)
Programme which began in 1987. Both programmes undoubtedly were and still
are important in increasing face-to-face interaction at the grass-roots
level; however, as well-funded flagships of a kokusaika often driven
by "a nationalist agenda designed to promote Japan as a model society" (Koschmann
1993: 493), their role in exposing young foreign graduates to Japanese
culture and fostering the spread of that culture cannot be overlooked. As
Befu (1983) concludes, only by understanding the relationship between
Nihonjinron and kokusaika is it possible to understand how Nakasone
could be an 'internationalist' and a 'cultural nationalist' at the same time
Of more relevance here is the second element of kokusaika
identified by Ivy: the domestication of the foreign within Japan. This kind
of kokusaika is sometimes referred to as 'inward' (uchi naru)kokusaika and is typically used to describe local government
foreigner support programmes (Pak 2000: 249). While 'inward' kokusaika
is not overtly assimilationist, usually aiming to create a 'liveable' (sumiyasui)
environment for non-Japanese residents, it is a complex term. Earlier, it
was noted that in the context of migrants in Japan the idea of
'internationalisation' contains within it seemingly contradictory notions of
the assimilation, suppression, and celebration of difference. Inward
kokusaika contains difference by reifying the divide between Japanese and
foreigners, thereby working to maintain the idea of a nation-state composed of
only Japanese citizens (Russel 1995). As Nakamatsu (2002: 148/53) points out, the
idea of 'internationalising' communities contains within it an instrumental
aspect that stresses the importance of making newcomers 'blend in' and adapt to
'Japanese culture'. In a case study of the Mogami Region in Yamagata Prefecture,
Nakamatsu (2002: 151) argues that the extensive use of the term 'international' −
as in kokusai kazoku
(international family), kokusaiji (international child/ren)6,
and kyōshitsu no kokusaika (internationalisation of the classroom) − has
the effect of homogenising cultural differences, confining subjects to a narrow,
stereotypical, and superficial identity.
The most visible manifestation of inward kokusaika
are kokusai kōryū (international cultural exchange) events. At such
community events, foreigners are invited to demonstrate aspects of their
culture, such as songs, dance, customs, or food. Nakamatsu (2002: 224/6)
details how the repeated staging of stereotypical kokusai kōryū
events can make foreigners feel as if they are being 'shown off' and used to
promote the 'exoticness' of the town while being excluded from mainstream
citizen held community events. Suzuki (2000: 165) suggests that kokusai kōryū events allow Japanese to create an aura of consuming the
'international'. The 'international' becomes a product which is exotic and
external to everyday life. Kokusai kōryū events illustrate how
kokusai related Discourses can act as powerful signifiers which
'include' foreigners by locking them into a particular category of
difference. Roces (2003: 93) makes a similar point in the context of
Filipina folk dancing in Australia, arguing that such cultural displays are
enthusiastically accepted not because the society is open and multicultural
but rather because they reinforce perceptions of the migrants as Other and
keep them in their cultural category of Filipino. That kokusai kōryū
events do sometimes offer a venue for negotiating and challenging
stereotypes may be more due to the creativity and enthusiasm of the foreign
participants than the intentions of the Japanese organisers.
Not all authors (for example, Dougill 1995; Steffanson 1994)
have analysed kokusaika as a conservative defence of national
identity. As Pak (1998: 81-6) points out, some proponents of kokusaika do
stress how increasing global interactions result in a loosening of Japanese
boundaries and a society more opening and accommodating of difference. Some
authors (for example, Gurowitz 1999: 443) have argued that 'internationalisation'
has "empowered actors to contest and challenge state identity and policy with an
arsenal of international norms." However, as Yeoh et al. (2002: 2) point out,
while some projects have clear engagements with global frameworks, "there are
myriad others which emerge in spaces somewhat disconnected to, or dislocated
from, the 'global' or even 'public' platform ... fragmentary, less-than-completely
articulated, and possibly unintended, struggles written into the interstitial
spaces of everyday life." Certainly, it is difficult to see how international law
has empowered individual migrant actors at the grassroots level in Japan. This is
not to say that global and trans-national forces have not provided standards of
comparison for international migrants to make use of. But this is rather
different from kokusaika, at least the dominant
conservative manifestation of kokusaika that has tended to flourish
with financial support from government and business leaders.
The kokusaika discourse is still around. A fairly
recent publication (Anon 1997) stemming from a series of seminars on
internationalisation in Yamagata observed that "the term 'kokusaika'
used to grate on the ears, but now that period has passed. Kokusaika
is something that directly and painfully touches all us Japanese."
Nevertheless, since its heyday in the 1980s, kokusaika does appear to
be on the decline. The term gurōbaruka (globalisation) has become
much more common (Burgess, et al., 2010: Figure 1), though this pretty much parallels the English term and is
no kind of replacement for kokusaika. Instead, kokusaika's
function as a powerful signifier that 'Others' not by exclusion but by
inclusion has not been abandoned but simply superseded by other, perhaps
more sophisticated, discourses.
Ibunka, combining the Chinese characters for
'difference' and 'culture', literally means 'different culture'. According
to Oda (1997), the term ibunka emerged during the mid-1980s during
the kokusaika/kokusai kōryū boom as a way of referring to the culture
of others (aite no bunka). Whereas the kokusaika discourse has
been in decline in recent years on the back of a hugely critical literature,ibunka has received very little critical analysis7
and is still fairly ubiquitous both in popular and official writings. For
example, entering ibunka into the Japanese government's e-Gov search
engine throws up thousands of hits. From the Ministry of Education, Culture,
Sports, and Science to the Cabinet Office the emphasis is on the necessity
of cultivating an 'international sense' (kokusaisei) by experiencing
(taiken) and understanding (rikai) ibunka. On top of
its dominant meaning of the cultures of other peoples, ibunka carries
the associated meaning of interactions between cultures. Thus, there is
ibunka (kan) komyunikēshon (inter or cross-cultural
communication) (for example, Ikeda et al. 2002); ibunka rikai kyōiku
(training in cross-cultural understanding and communication) (IMIDAS 1990:
1270); and ibunka kan kaunseringu (cross-cultural counselling) (IMIDAS
The twin elements of 'difference' and 'culture' demand
separate attention. Raymond Williams (1976: 76) called the latter 'one of
the two or three most complicated words in the English language'. Although
the English and Japanese are not identical, both culture and bunka
have two distinct aspects: what Eagleton (2000: 112) calls culture as
'civility' (artistic and intellectual progress) and culture as 'solidarity'
(the way of life of national groups). In English, this latter,
anthropological sense, emerged in the nineteenth century. In comparison,
bunka in the sense of nihon bunka began to be widely used in public
debate only around the 1920s (Morris-Suzuki 1998: 61/2). Culture in this recent,
anthropological sense of distinctive or whole (popular) ways of life contains a
number of problems. Keesing (1991) gives a fairly exhaustive list of such
problems: it overemphasises sharedness, consensuality, and harmony while at the
same time disguising the role of power, ideology, and the political process; it
exaggerates homogeneity and downplays variation; it over-simplifies, filtering
out elements of social complexity and hybridity; it ignores the permeable,
unstable, and shifting nature of boundaries; and it is deeply essentialist. It is
no coincidence that 'culture' in its recent anthropological sense emerged (or,
perhaps more accurately, was mobilised) in Japan at a time when questions of
nationalism, national character, and nationhood were being vigorously debated
(Morris-Suzuki 1998: chapter 4). The way 'culture' is used today virtually as a
synonym of 'national culture' supports the contention that 'culture' is a tool of
nationalism. Thus, one of the central premises of Nihonjinron − 'a species of
nationalism' (Befu 1993: 125) − is that Japan is culturally homogeneous.
The second element of the ibunka compound is
'difference'. Because difference is a social or cultural construction
differences which are considered salient in one society may not be
considered so in another (for some examples see Befu 1980: 38; van Bremen
1986: 22). As with culture, difference is central to the constructions of
(Japanese) identity. Earlier, identity was argued to be defined in a
hierarchy of exclusion or negation, Self being defined through a process of
Othering (what one is not). On one level, identity is thus a simple binary
of alike/unlike that emphasises difference by creating a strong contrast.
For example, the Meiji word for foreigner (ijin − literally different
person) tended to refer most clearly to White foreigners8
since those were the most visibly different to Japanese. Similarly,
ibunka refers most commonly to White culture. This is clear from the
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, and Science's project to encourage
co-existence with people of different cultures (ibunka o motsu hitobito to
kyōsei shiteiku) through the promotion of two-week home-stays in
identity is not just a simple binary; it is a hierarchy that contrasts a
superior Self with an inferior Other. An analysis of the i in
ibunka reveals this. The character used in the ibunka compound
for 'difference' goes beyond the neutral meaning of unlike or not the same:10
according to Oda (1997: 37) it suggests something that is ayashii
(dubious), myōna (curious, queer, funny, odd), ibukashii
(doubtful), and even wazawai (disastrous, calamitous).
As suggested earlier, Nihonjinron is formulated on the basis of
evaluative comparison (Befu 1993: 113). It aims to demonstrate not only that
Japan (and Japanese language, culture, people) is different (uniquely unique)
from the rest of the world but also that it is superior or better. Difference − a
stark and evaluative comparison − is central to the maintenance of identity. In
Japan, this manifests itself in a sharp distinction between what it means to be a
Japanese and what it means to be a foreigner. The maintenance of this difference
is crucial to notions of a mono-ethnic Japan and a homogeneous Japanese identity.
While one may overstate the power of individual words, one cannot ignore the
everyday effects of ubiquitous terms such as kokusaika and ibunka. As
McMahill (2000: 56) notes, people are not born into their identities but
construct, negotiate, or have them imposed upon them through societal
Discourses. When new terms rapidly emerge and spread it is important to
consider their discursive significance.
Kyōsei often occurs in the same context as
kokusaika and ibunka. For example, in the MEXT project to 'internationalise' Japanese children
mentioned above, the aim was to encourage 'co-existence with people of
different cultures' (ibunka o motsu hitobito to kyōsei shiteiku).
Formed from the characters 'together' and 'life', kyōsei is defined (Kōjien
1996) simply as 'living alike together in a particular place'. The term
kyōsei was originally used in biology to refer to co-existence (or even
physiological interdependence) between different species. It can also refer
to humans and nature co-existing. In the early 1990s, kyōsei took a
central place in the debate over improving economic relations between
(Asian) countries (McCormack 1996c: 83). This meaning later widened to
include relations in general between Japan and 'Asian' countries (for
example, Kaminaga 2001). Since the mid-1990s kyōsei has come to refer
to 'Japanese' and 'foreigners' living harmoniously together within Japan (Takezawa, 2008).
As the MEXT
example illustrates, kyōsei is frequently deployed by public bodies
"to create an aura of harmonious social co-existence with people of
difference" (Suzuki 2000: 156). Pak (2000: 245) notes that the idea of 'a
new community in symbiosis with foreigners' (gaikokujin to no kyōsei shakai) underlies local government initiatives on foreign residents. In
Yamagata City, for example, the purpose of the latest survey of foreign
residents was 'to create a society where Japanese and foreigners co-exist' (nihonjin
to gaikokujin to no kyōsei shakai zukuri) (Yamagata Shimbun 2003).
Today, kyōsei is not only deployed by government.
Citizen and volunteer groups also appear to have embraced the concept. While
I was on fieldwork in Yamagata, a Chikyū Shimin Gakushū (World
Citizen Study) seminar (8/9.12.01) held in Fukushima identified as its goal
the smooth transition to a tabunka kyōsei shakai (multicultural
co-existing society). A year earlier, the one-day conference held at Chiba
University (25.11.00) under the auspices of the Network of Volunteer
Japanese Teachers (Bōsōnihongo Borantia Nettowāku) focused
on the problems faced in teaching and co-existing with long-term foreign
residents. One session was entitled 'Tabunka Kyōsei' to Nihongo Borantia
(Multicultural Co-existence and Japanese Language Volunteers). The Japanese
name of the Kōbe Tabunka Kyōsei Sentā (Centre for Multicultural
Information and Assistance) proves a further example of a citizen/volunteer
group embracing the concept of kyōsei. According to their homepage, the centre was formed
following the Great Kobe Earthquake to provide help, advice, and information
for foreign residents. These varied examples suggest that Shimizu and
Shimizu (2001: 3) may be right when they argue that tabunka kyōsei shakai
is becoming a central keyword for conceptualising Japanese society in the
Kyōsei, in the sense of co-existence between Japanese
and foreigners within Japan, has only recently risen to prominence, perhaps
partly to replace the embattled Discourse of kokusaika (Suzuki 2000:
157). Like kokusaika (in its conventional sense) and ibunka,kyōsei did not figure in the narratives of those migrants I
spoke to during fieldwork. Whether this
is because of its newness or because of its ideological baggage is not
clear. Certainly, kyōsei does appear to share some of the same
functions as kokusaika and ibunka. In theory, terms like
tabunka kyōsei portray both foreign residents and Japanese as 'equal
partners' (Takezawa 2002; 2008). However, in practice a hierarchy is
again at work. Kyōsei is almost exclusively used by a dominant group
(that is, the Japanese) to describe relations with a subordinate group (that
is, foreigners). In using the term, the dominant group affirms its own
distinctness and separateness. The danger of phrases like 'co-existent
citizenship' (Hirowatari 1998) is that, while well meaning, they construct a
two-tier hierarchy of citizenship which maintains the sharp
Japanese/foreigner distinction, thereby denying non-Japanese access to
power. The dichotomous nature of this hierarchy sees cultural and ethnic
differences between non-Japanese eradicated, with the result that
'foreigners' become an undifferentiated mass (Suzuki 2000: 158). Parallels
can be made with the colonial period when the ideology was of multiethnic
harmony (minzoku kyōwa) within a Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity
Sphere (Dai Tōa Kyōei Ken). Here too 'co-existence' translated into a
superior dominating and controlling an inferior.
In biology, sōri (two-way) kyōsei − an equal
relationship where both actors benefit − is typically distinguished from
henri (one-way) kyōsei, where only one actor benefits from the
relationship (Asahi Dictionary of Current Terminology 2002: 909). Kyōsei,
as it is used in Japan today, at face value appears closer to the former
definition. In actuality, it may be closer to the latter. The emphasis on
harmony present in compounds like kyōsei shakai − translated as 'the
convivial society' in IMIDAS (1992: 382) − may be more prescriptive than
descriptive, denying the existence of disagreement and conflict. Suzuki (2000:
160) suggests that kyōsei (re)produces boundaries that
reaffirm foreigners' non-membership in Japanese society. The argument thatkyōsei is much more complex − and insidious − than first meets the eye is
supported by an examination of the closely-related and recently popular term tabunka (as in
tabunka kyōsei shakai), a term
whose English equivalent has garnered much critical attention outside of
Tabunka, comprised of the characters for 'many' and 'culture', is generally translated as multicultural. Tabunka-shugi is
multiculturalism. As with kyōsei, tabunka was occasionally
used to describe relations between Japan and other (mainly Asian) countries
during the period of economic internationalisation when Japanese companies
expanded abroad. However, in describing different cultures within Japan it
is a concept that is still in its infancy. Compared to ibunka,
kokusaika, and even kyōsei, tabunka is still not
particularly visible in print media. Various dictionaries of current
terminology mention tabunka only in the context of Australia, Canada,
and America. Multiculturalism emerged in these immigrant societies at a time
when overtly assimilationist Discourses, grounded in strictly regulated and
often racist immigration policies, became increasingly untenable or
'dysfunctional' (Jupp 1995: 209).
The growing numbers of migrants coming to and settling down
in Japan suggests that tabunka may soon become the latest buzzword in
Japan too. Initially, local governments took the
lead in formulating ‘multicultural’ policies, known as
‘multicultural community building’ (tabunka kyōsei) (Pak, 2000). For example, in 2001 13 municipalities formed the
Committee for Localities with a Concentrated Foreign Population
(Gaikokujin Shuju Toshi Kaigi); thereafter, starting with the
‘Hamamatsu Declaration’ of October the same year, the group –
currently consisting of 28 cities and towns – repeatedly called on
the central government to develop a coordinated and coherent
integration policy (Yamawaki, 2002). By 2009, despite some
discussions and the creation of a 2006 document entitled
‘Comprehensive Measures Concerning Foreign Residents’, the
municipalities called again for the central government to set up a
new agency aimed at improving the livelihoods of foreign residents (Daily Yomiuri, 2009). Prompted by rising employment amongst
Nikkeijin in particular, the Cabinet Office did set up an office in
charge of policies for resident foreigners in January 2009, with a
website in April of the same year (Cabinet Office, 2009). However,
it is important (as the website makes clear) to place this move in
the context of an unprecedented economic downturn, raising serious
doubts whether it will remain and transform itself into an
integration agency once the economy picks up. Ultimately, it is
difficult not to agree with Tessa Morris-Suzuki’s (2002)
characterisation of the ‘shift’ in official presentation of
national identity as a move towards ‘cosmetic multiculturalism’,
a vision of national identity in which diversity is celebrated “but
only under certain tightly prescribed conditions” (see also
Burgess, 2008a). In this way, Japanese style multiculturalism
(tabunka shugi), at least at the national level,
can be seen as a successor to kokusaika, the latest
ideological tool to maintain a homogeneous discourse of national
The tabunka philosophy does have a precedent: during the
colonial period multiethnic conceptions of national identity dominated.
Interestingly, competing multiethnic and mono-ethnic ideologies were both
characterised by a policy of assimilation (dōka), underpinned by a
belief in superiority (Lie 2001: 122). It is too early to know whether the
decline of assimilationist Discourses in Japan will be accompanied by a
dissolution of racial hierarchies. If the experience of other immigrant
countries is anything to go by, distinctions of superiority and inferiority
will be maintained not through policies of assimilation but through a
'celebration' (and locking in) of difference.
Earlier, Befu (2001: 103) argued that Nihonjinron prevails
by default. Tabunka might be thought of as offering an alternative
worldview, cultural model, or ideology. However, as Japan begins to
enthusiastically embrace ideologies of multiculturalism, the criticism
directed at the term by those from countries where it has been popular for
many years suggests that it will reinforce rather than replace Nihonjinron
ideologies. The critical argument is that multiculturalism as a policy is a
strategy for containment that reinforces the marginality and isolation of
minority communities (Venn 1999: 60). In America, for example, commentators
have pointed out that behind the veneer of diversity lies limited choice.
There, individuals are forced to locate themselves within one (and only one)
of a fixed number of racial categories such as 'Asian-American' (Espiritu
1992; Hollinger 1995). This is already evident in Japan, where 'progressive'
labels like daburu actually serve to limit personal choice by
implying that people of mixed ancestries should value and express their
ethnicities, ignoring the fact that many may prefer to find their identity
in other ways (Murphy-Shigematsu 2000: 214). In the Australian context, Hage
(1999) goes even further by arguing that multiculturalism is merely a more
sophisticated version of White supremacy12,
a Discourse that, while claiming to transcend, actually maintains andreproduces the dominance of White culture and nationalism. For
Reimer too, the chief disadvantage of encouraging people to
'retain' their 'heritage' is the danger of locking people into various
I grew convinced that the narrow and static definition of
diversity almost universally accepted by the promoters of multiculturalism can
only retard the emergence of a tolerant and embracing society in which
individuals may exploit opportunities beyond those offered by their particular
environments ... it is vital, I think, to look beyond the categories of the
contemporary discussion and debate. (Reimer 1999: 8)
Appiah is yet another who has pointed out how 'life-scripts'
(notions of how a person of a certain kind behaves) associated with various
collective identities, while of strategic importance, risk tying individuals
too tightly to norms over which they have little control. "Nowadays there is
a widespread agreement", he (1994:161) notes, "that the insults to their dignity
and the limitations of their autonomy imposed in the name of these collective
identities are seriously wrong."
Arguments that multiculturalism actually contains and
reinforces the marginality and isolation of communities become clearer when
the notion of mixture is addressed. Discourses of assimilation and
multiculturalism both function effectively to exclude the notion of
hybridisation (Reimer 1999: 8; Venn 1999: 60). This point is illustrated by Moldenhawer in a study of
'multicultural' schooling of immigrants in
Denmark, a country which has a number of parallels with the situation in
Japan. Moldenhawer (1995: 71/2) argues that although the assimilatory and
multicultural models are 'fundamentally different' in their conception of
migrant role, they agree in taking 'migrant-as-problem' as their point of
departure. For Moldenhawer, it is the concept of a single, homogeneous
'culture' unaccepting of difference that is most problematic. In Singapore's
case, it is not the concept of a single 'authentic' national identity that
entraps, but three such categories:
In the Singaporean context, Chineseness, Malayness, and
Indianness are constructed as sites of authentic Asianness designed to
invest the national culture with substance and originary solidity, what in
Singaporean discourse is called 'cultural ballast'. As Benjamin astutely
puts it, 'Singapore's Multiracialism puts Chinese people under pressure to
become more Chinese, Indians more Indian, and Malays more Malay, in their
behaviour' (Ang and Stratton 1996: 186).
In Japan's case, tabunka is the latest ideological
tool to put Japanese under pressure to become 'more Japanese' and foreign
residents under pressure to become 'more ethnic'. It does not matter that
Japan has long been 'multicultural' in the sense of being home to a range of
ethnic variation and diversity (McCormack 1996b: 3, 12; Oguma 1995). To
recognise that "culture is 'multi', or rather 'inter', by its very nature" (Bahlouol,
quoted in Morris-Suzuki 1998: 192) does not negate the impact of discourses
of multiculturalism. Multiculturalism represents a particularly
sophisticated discourse that defines, contains, reifies, locks in, and
reinforces difference thereby limiting access to social resources and
maintaining the power of the dominant group.
that the Japanese brand of multiculturalism is
exclusionary and essentialising rather than accepting of difference comes from Nagayoshi
(2011) who demonstrates a strong statistical correlation between Japanese
people’s ethno-nationalistic feelings and endorsement of ‘multiculturalism’;
she concludes that Japanese regard their own brand of multiculturalism not as
conflicting with but rather as strengthening homogeneity.
As Morris-Suzuki (1998:
197-200) notes, the tabunka discourse can be seen as a response to
the growing global portfolio of identity positions available to agents in
Japan and represents the latest in a series of power struggles to define,
manage, and maintain (control of) boundaries and categories.
Conclusion: The Changing Face(s) of Japan
Fukuzawa Yukichi (quoted in Sakamoto 2001: 141) noted that
the idea of 'nation' does not come naturally but has to be created and then
maintained, 'in all people's brains'. The loosening of identifications with
national culture that is characteristic of globalisation has meant that the "imagined communities called
'nations' [now] require constant, often
violent, maintenance" (Clifford 1997: 9). One reason words like kokusaika,ibunka, kyōsei, and tabunka have become increasingly
visible is undoubtedly because traditional notions of Japanese identity are
increasingly threatened. This is what Anderson referred to earlier as
'official nationalism', a kind of conservative reaction or response by power
groups threatened by marginalisation. To
Elsewhere, I (2010) have
continue to have a key role in structuring both national
identity and social reality for many Japanese.
History tells us that the ideological maintenance of (national)
identities is usually unable to keep up with the pace of change. The shifts in
systems of representation occurring under the surface in Japan today are likely
creating conditions ripe for change that will enable future newcomers to have a
louder voice in determining how Japanese society might evolve in the coming
years. Elsewhere (2004; 2008b), I discuss these important but
largely invisible processes occurring in Japanese society at the local level and
show how migrants have perceived their presence and actions will change (or have
changed) Japanese people and national identity. While it is too early to claim,
as some have (for example, Douglass and Roberts 2000), that the multicultural age
has already come to Japan, it is possible to say, as Yamanaka (2002: 2, 22) does,
that "Japan stands at the crossroads of becoming a multicultural society...
of becoming a multi-ethnic society." The question is not whether but how long
contemporary discourses can maintain the illusion of homogeneity.
1. This paper was first published at this URL in 2004, but was revised and re-posted in 2012. It is adapted from a larger work
(Burgess 2003). I would like to acknowledge the support received from the
Monash University Postgraduate Publications Award in the preparation of the
manuscript. I am indebted to Ross Mouer, Robyn Spence-Brown, Peter Matanle,
and the three anonymous reviewers for comments made on earlier drafts of
2. Since the paper focuses on identity issues,
it inevitably simplifies the migration movement in contemporary Japan.
Elsewhere (Burgess 2003), I argue that it is the growing number of newcomers
from various countries who are settling down in Japan that is one of the
most significant aspects of migration in the context of studies on identity,
globalisation, and of contemporary Japanese Studies in general.
3. The phrase 'seeds of social change' comes
from the two-day conference on 'Gender, Migration, and Governance in Asia',
held at the Australian National University on 5-6 December 2002. A key
argument was that female migrants constitute a new force for 'civil
activism, democratic governance, and increasing multiculturalism'. Using a
similar metaphor, Nelson Graburn (personal communication) has suggested that
the 'seeding' of migrants in local communities is an important yet
under-researched area of work.
Most countries have cultural models or systems of ideas about what it means
(and, even more importantly, what it does not mean) to be a national. The
House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), which was active until 1975,
is probably the most obvious example. A more recent example is the use of
terms like 'un-American' or 'un-Australian' to describe
anti-globalisation or anti-war protestors.
This echoes the argument by Herman and Chomsky (1994: xiv) that in advanced
modern societies there exists "a propaganda system that is far more credible
and effective in putting over a patriotic agenda than one with official
censorship." In response to criticisms that they are constructing a
'conspiracy theory', they (1994: xii) argue that 'natural processes' such as
self-censorship and internalised constraints are far more common than
deliberate distortion and suppression. One is reminded of Foucault's (1977:
227-8) discussion on the rise of a '(self) disciplinary society' where norms
are no longer prescribed from above but instituted and enforced from below.
For Foucault (1983: 213-15), the modern state exercises 'pastoral' power, a
historically unprecedented form of power which is both individualising
(making individuals subjects) and totalising.
6. The use of kokusaiji is
reserved for children with (a) non-Japanese parent(s), so that children of two
Japanese parents cannot be 'international' (Ōshiro 1984). See McVeigh's (1997:
66) argument that nihonjin cannot really be kokusaijin
(international people), the two terms being mutually exclusive.
7. In contrast to the many
deconstructions of kokusaika, the only critical analysis of the termibunka I have found was in a reference to an obscure newsletter (Bunkyō
Nyūsu, 29.7.96: 2) of a 'government affiliated organisation', quoted
extensively in Oda (1997: 36). The paper was entitled "Let's Stop Using the Term
'ibunka': Keeping a Watchful Eye on the Japanese We Use" ('Ibunka'to iu Kotaba no Shiyō o Yameyō: Nihongo no Kotoba Tsukai e no Kokoro Kubari). It suggested a number of alternatives to ibunka, such ashoka no bunka (another culture), betsu no bunka (another or
separate culture), and gaikoku bunka (foreign culture).
8. Hence, the historical tourist
area known as ijinkan in Kobe refers to the housing previously
occupied by Westerners resident during Meiji.
9. The full document was
accessed 13.2.03 by typing kodomo no kokusai kōryū jigyō into theMinistry of Justice's homepage.
10. The other common character for
difference − that used for chigai − is usually more of a simple negation,
generally meaning unlike, not the same, or wrong. The most widely used compounds
are perhaps ihan (a violation or breach), ihō
(something illegal), and iwakan (feelings of discomfort).
Nevertheless, chigai is still used to refer to cultural difference.
This is particularly clear at the local grass-roots level. For example, the
Yamagata Chikyū Shimin Gakushū (World Citizen Study) seminar
(10/11.11.01) carried the slogan Chigai o Yutaka ni Tsunageru Tameni
(To Turn Differences into Riches) and constantly emphasised difference,
particularly national 'cultural' difference. The following seminar in
Fukushima (8/9.12.01) carried the slogan Chigai o Mitomeai
11. One of the anonymous
readers also pointed out that kyōsei is very much the buzzword for
the mainstream Ainu movement and their vision of multiculturalism. 'Kyōsei e
no Michi' is a major publication of the Utari Kyōkai.
12. In this sense, Hage is
arguing that there really is very little difference between
'multiculturalists' and right-wing racist critics, like Blainey and Hanson,
who typically attack multiculturalism for dividing the nation into separate
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About the author
Chris Burgess taught English atKitakyushu University in
Japan for five years before moving to Australia to start a PhD atMonash University, Melbourne, in
April 2000. His thesis, entitled "(Re)Constructing Identities: International
Marriage Migrants as Potential Agents of Social Change in a Rapidly
Globalising Japan", was passed in March 2004. He is currently a full-time
lecturer at Tsuda Juku
University (Tsuda College), Tokyo,
where he teaches Japanese Studies and Australian Studies. His research
focuses on migration, globalisation, and identity in contemporary Japan.
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