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For the Sake of Our Japanese Brethren: Assimilation, Nationalism, and Protestantism Among the Japanese of Los Angeles, 1895-1942

by Hayashi, Brian M.

For the Sake of Our Japanese Brethren: Assimilation, Nationalism, and Protestantism Among the Japanese of Los Angeles, 1895-1942 cover
  • ISBN: 9780804723749
  • ISBN10: 0804723745

For the Sake of Our Japanese Brethren: Assimilation, Nationalism, and Protestantism Among the Japanese of Los Angeles, 1895-1942

by Hayashi, Brian M.

  • List Price: $35.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publish date: 01/01/2009
  • ISBN: 9780804723749
  • ISBN10: 0804723745
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Description: Japanese Americans in general and Protestant Japanese Americans in particular are usually described as models of cultural assimilation to American life. This book paints a much more complex picture of the Japanese American community in Los Angeles (the largest in the continental United States in the years before World War II), in the process showing that before Pearl Harbor, the primary allegiance of many Japanese Americans was to Japan. The author argues, on the basis of previously unused archives of three Japanese Protestant churches spanning almost a half century that Protestantism did not accelerate assimilation, and that there was not an extensive assimilation process under way in the prewar years. He suggests that what has been seen as evidence of assimilation (e.g., the learning of English) may have meant something very different to the people in question (e.g., a demonstration of the superior learning abilities of the Japanese). The book shows that among both first- and second-generation Japanese immigrants, there was a strong shift from assimilationist aspirations in the 1920's to nationalistic identification with Japan in the 1930's, a shift that was in some ways fostered by a growing adherence to evangelical Protestantism. The first chapter, set in 1942, describes how the Protestant Japanese Americans in internment camps were divided into pro- and anti-United States factions. The reason for this division is found in their prewar experiences, as shown in the subsequent chapters devoted to historical background, socioeconomic conditions, types of social organization, the ideology of Issei (first-generation) males, the influence of Issei women, the ambivalent world of Nisei(second-generation) children, and the place of the Protestants in the larger, non-Protestant Japanese American community.
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