All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

John E Van Sant

Advisory Committee Members

Colin J Davis

Raymond A Mohl

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2011

Degree Name by School

Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to address the Japanese immigration to Peru and Japanese cultural traditions within Peru. It is necessary to note the reasons for emigration and effects of the conditions in Peru. Through the use of various sources, I will study the transition of culture and history of the Japanese community in Peru. Diplomatic relations between Japan and Peru began in 1872 after tensions surrounding the Maria Luz incident. It was not until 1899 that the two countries established a formal relationship. The Peruvians viewed the Japanese as a source of cheap labor. Ergo, an immigration policy, initially based upon contract labor, was developed. After immigrating, the Japanese maintained a sense of their culture while creating a new identity in Peru. Women were primarily responsible for retaining this knowledge. Furthermore, the creation of Japanese newspapers, organizations, and schools fostered the Japanese identity which forced a separation between them and their Peruvian neighbors. In addition, the control of immigration exerted by the Japanese government encouraged opinions that the Japanese had colonial expectations in Latin America. Although not true, it certainly led to ostracization and attacks on the Japanese community in Peru which intensified during World War II. The United States worked with the Peruvian government to intern approximately 1,800 Japanese-Peruvian citizens. Many of which were detained in the Crystal City Relocation Facility in Texas. After the war, Japanese-Peruvians experienced more assimilation into the Peruvian culture but still maintained a unique identity.

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