Participating Scholars
Teruko Kumei
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Teruko Kumei is Professor of American History and Culture at Shirayuri College in Tokyo. She is a council member of the Japanese Association for American Studies and a member of the Executive Committee of the Japanese Association of Migration Studies. Her major publication is A Social History of Foreigners, Modern America and Japanese Immigrants (1995), which received the Shimizu Hiroshi Award from the Japanese Association for American Studies in 1996. Professor Kumei’s research mainly focuses on the Issei, starting from the Gannenmono in Hawai’i to the post-war immigrants. She is particularly interested in the interactions between the immigrant community and the receiving society, and the U.S.-Japanese bilateral relations as seen from the perspective of the immigrants.

e-mail: kumeit@shirayuri.ac.jp

Research Proposal Abstract
"The Twain Shall Meet" in Nisei?: Japanese Language Education and the U.S.-Japan Relation 1900-1940

Japanese language schools, which flourished during the period between two World Wars as a supplementary ethnic educational institution, had been long considered (and criticized as ) a stronghold of Japanese immigrants’ efforts to conserve their national heritage. The founding mission of the schools was to provide Japanese elementary education for Japanese nationals in the United States. However, as Japanese immigrants became permanent settlers, the schools began to assume a more ambitious but dichotomous role; Japanese immigrant leaders envisioned that through Japanese language education Nisei, raised in Japanese and American cultures, would prove wrong Kipling’s precept, “East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.” This researcher will address and examine in depth how and to what extent the challenge to Kipling’s precept was successful.