In Search of Our Frontier: Racial Exclusion and Japanese Settler Colonialism in the Transpacific Triangle of the American West, Northern Australia, and Colonial Korea

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Friday, April 8th, 2016

Friday, April 8, 20163:00PM - 5:00PM208N, North House, Munk School of Global Affairs
1 Devonshire Place
M5S 3K7
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The history of early Japanese America was deeply intertwined with that of Japanese imperialism even though a spatially-organized way of scholarly research has rendered the two histories almost completely separate. Inspired by the success of Anglo Saxon colonialism in its settler societies, the first group of self-styled Japanese “frontiersmen” congregated in California and its vicinity between the mid-1880s and the 1910s, regarding their own agrarian colonization and settlement in the New World frontier to be an integral part of Japan’s “overseas development.” This paper sketches out the transpacific mobility of those resettlers, who refashioned their identity as “pioneers of overseas Japanese development” in various parts of the Asia-Pacific region from the 1890s on after race-based exclusion from white settler societies of North America.

Eiichiro Azuma is Alan Charles Kors Term Chair Associate Professor of History and Director of Asian American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Between Two Empires: Race, History, and Transnationalism in Japanese America (Oxford, 2005) and a co-editor of Yuji Ichioka, Before Internment: Essays in Prewar Japanese American History (Stanford, 2006) and the Oxford Handbook of Asian American History (Oxford, 2016). He has a number of peer-reviewed articles in academic journals, including the Journal of American History, Journal of Asian Studies, and Pacific Historical Review.


Rachel Ostep


Eiichiro Azuma
Associate Professor of History and Director of Asian American Studies, University of Pennsylvania

Main Sponsor

Dr. David Chu Program in Asia Pacific Studies


Asian Institute

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