Intimate Strangers

Item # 153528.

Intimate Strangers: Shin Issei Women and Contemporary Japanese American Community, 1980-2020 

By Tritia Toyota. 

At the end of the twentieth century, many twenty-something Japanese women migrated to places like Southern California with few skills and an overall lack of human capital. These women, members of the shin Issei community, sought economic opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. In Intimate Strangers, shin Issei women tell stories of precarity, inequality, and continuing marginality, first in Japan, where they were restricted by gendered social structures, and later in the United States, where their experiences were compounded by issues such as citizenship. Intimate Strangers charts the experiences of shin Issei lives: their existence in Japan prior to migration, their motivations for moving to the United States, their settlement, and their growing awareness of their place in American society. Toyota chronicles how these resilient young women became active agents in circumventing social restrictions to fashion new lives of meaning. The Nikkei community (Americans of Japanese ancestry who were born in the United States) has been transformed by the inclusion of shin Issei, and Toyota describes the tensions around intergroup negotiations over race, identity, and the possibility of common belonging. Intimate Strangers is a perceptive study of migration and community incorporation enacted around cultural differences and processes. 

Paper: 240 pp.  

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