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Hispanic Heritage Month Lecture and Discussion

October 8 @ 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm

Lives across borders and cultures: Home and belonging in third and fourth generation of Japanese in Peru and Venezuela.  An analysis of two journeys: Kaori Flores Yonekura and Tomas Toshi Matsufuji” by Irinia Soto-Mejia, Soka University of Japan professor

In this talk, Irina Soto-Mejia discusses her current research project, in which she explores the Japanese diaspora in Peru, narrated through the life of third and fourth generation generation Nikkei.  Soto-Mejia’s emphasis on these generations illustrates a trajectory in the history of  the diaspora, particularly in comparison to her parallel research on the works of second-generation authors, Augusto Higa Oshiro and Doris Moromisato.  

Peru is the Spanish speaking country in Latin America with the largest Japanese community.  By sliding her research between second, third, and fourth generations, Soto-Mejia challenges the temptation to homogenize the Japanese Peruvian narrative or to simplify their experience through historical reductionism.  She seeks to shed light on the ways in which emerging young Nikkei voices have both contributed to and resisted the grand narrative of the Japanese presence in Peru.

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