Participating Scholars
Kozy Amemiya

Project Description


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Japanese American
National Museum

Kozy Amemiya is a research associate of the Japan Policy Research Institute in California. She received her Ph.D. in sociology at the University of California, San Diego and has published in English and Japanese on the issues of women, family, population policies, Okinawa and emigration. She has been studying Okinawan emigration to Bolivia, for which she was a Japan Foundation Research Fellow in 1997.

Research Proposal Abstract
The 'Labor Pains' in Forging a Nikkei Community in the Santa Cruz Region, Bolivia

This study investigate the process of forging a Nikkei community in the Santa Cruz region of Bolivia, in which the postwar immigrants from Japan and Okinawa settled. Though their current number is small (approximately 2,500), their contribution to the local economy is significant and at the same time, they have a clear self-identity, distinct from the rest of the Bolivian population and seek to establish their own culture within Bolivian society. As the postwar immigration began in the mid-1950s and lasted for ten years, the community is now transforming itself from an immigrants to a Nikkei community as the leadership is shifting from the Issei to the next generation and also a large portion of immigrants have migrated out of the secluded agrarian settlements to the urban sectors. Such changes have created a different set of interests, which have brought about various tensions between the agrarian and urban sectors as well as generations. By focusing on such tensions, this research explores the direction which a new Nikkei community in Bolivia will take.