At a special Japan Region event on March 26, 2022, USJC (Japan)/TOMODACHI intern alumna Momoko Tajima delivered an extremely informative and interactive presentation on Nikkei identity and the impact of social context. Drawing upon research from her senior thesis at Kyushu University, Momoko explained the origin of the term “Nikkei” – a word that many Japanese Americans use without knowing its source – and how the meaning of that term has evolved over the years. Robust discussion among the participants followed, touching on issues such as differences between West Coast and East Coast Japanese Americans, the perception that Japanese migrated overseas because they were “failures” at home, and the fluidity of self-identity among modern Nikkei. A video recording of Momoko’s presentation is available here.
Thank you to Jim Minamoto for providing the above write-up!