Project Description


Project Description


Institutional Participants



Staff and Advisors

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Japanese American
National Museum

The International Nikkei Research Project is a collaborative three-year research project that focuses on the evolution of Nikkei cultures and societies. The research will be conducted in collaboration with scholars of all nationalities around the world whose past and current research focuses on the Nikkei experiences in a global, national and regional context. The Museum will serve as a coordinator of this comprehensive research project which provides an international program platform for scholars and researchers to engage in collaborative research on the Nikkei experience.

The first-year will lay the foundation of a research design that will provide a conceptual framework and research methodology for joint collaboration among scholars of various disciplines. Due to the broad geographic scope of this research project, the first year will focus on Nikkei in the Western Hemisphere. Other countries with a Nikkei population, such as the Philippines, Korea, Australia, China, and other regions, will be included as the project progresses, ultimately resulting in the inclusion of all Nikkei populations. The major outcomes of the first-year request will include the following: (1) International Nikkei Repository of past research and current works-in-progress on the Nikkei experience to be established at the Japanese American National Museum; (2) Educational Resource Guide with annotated bibliography and directory of Nikkei educational resources and organizations; (3) Research Project Manual with conceptual framework, definitions of terms and units, scholars listing; (4) International Nikkei Website with updates on the project's work-in-progress; (5) International Nikkei Symposium planning meeting to be held in Los Angeles during the second-year request period; (6) International Advisory Council comprised of pre-eminent national and international leaders and scholars, to be established for the purpose of consultation to the project.

The second-year will concentrate on the intellectual exchange of knowledge and dialogue between Nikkei scholars and scholarship, and the expansion of the project to include research on Nikkei in Asia, Africa, and the European continent. Scholars will present their research and help to identify other researchers, scholarship and works-in-progress, in addition to critical areas of inquiry that need further research. The second-year outcomes will include: (1) International Nikkei Symposium and convening of the International Advisory Council; (2) pre-publication of scholars' research; (3) expansion of the International Nikkei Website that allows optimum access to gathered information and update of symposium outcomes; and (4) inclusion of the greater Nikkei experience with outreach to scholars conducting research in other Nikkei societies outside of the Americas.

The third-year will focus on the final publication and production of research findings, and the distribution and access of these findings in a variety of formats. The third-year outcomes will include: (1) edited publication of Nikkei research; (2) establishment of an International Nikkei Research Institute as a component of the Japanese American National Museum's National Resource Center.

The Project Mission and Significance

The main mission of the International Nikkei Research Project will be to increase and share the knowledge of Nikkei cultures and societies in order to foster greater linkages and cross-cultural understanding between the United States, Japan, and other nations with a Nikkei population in North, Central, and South America, and other parts of the world. The knowledge gathered during the course of the International Nikkei Research Project will provide valuable insight to nations and communities in their interpretation of the past, the assessment of the present, and a vision for the future, as we approach the twenty-first century.

As the coordinator of this project the Japanese American National Museum will provide a program platform to: (a) work collaboratively with scholars and educators from various disciplines and countries; (b) make known the accomplishments and challenges (past, present and future) of Nikkei to global history, culture and economy; (c) compare diverse cultures, societies and its institutions; (d) develop opportunities and access to educational resources; and (e) promote greater context to understanding the communities, nations, and the world in which we live.

The research generated from the International Nikkei Research Project will provide a rich resource for educational institutions such as museums, libraries, elementary and secondary schools and universities, historical societies, and to individual scholars, researchers, educators, journalists, filmmakers, and others, in the development of publications, curriculum guides, public programs, films, videos, and other educational products, programs and services that promote a greater awareness and understanding of the Nikkei experience.

We are particularly grateful to The Nippon Foundation for its generous support of this collaborative research project that promotes greater cross-cultural communication and community-building for the future.