SOAS University of London

Japan Research Centre

Japan's post-war migration: topic, method, and research

IMG - Pedro Poster
Pedro Iacobelli (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)

Date: 10 January 2018Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 10 January 2018Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: KLT

Type of Event: Seminar


In the 1950s, groups of immigrants were despatched from mainland Japan and from US military-occupied Okinawa across the Pacific. A few thousand of these post-war migrants were sent to the Bolivian side of the Amazon rainforest where they built from scratch agricultural colonies. The ubiquitous presence of the sending state in Asia and in South America left a wealth of information about the planning and execution of these state-driven migration movements. My book Postwar Migration to South America, from Japan and the Ryukyu Islands (Bloomsbury Academics, 2017) looks at these documents and provides a historical interpretation of the role of the sending State; its transnational connections; and the projection of regional differences (i.e. Naichi vs Ryukyu) onto the overseas community.

In this presentation I reflect on three aspects of my investigation. Framing the topic (the what and why); developing a useful methodologic approach (the how); and defining a research course (the how and the means). These three issues are inherent part of all academic endeavour; and thus, this presentation provides a chance to talk about historiography from a transpacific perspective. HDRs are especially welcome.

img - Pedro Iacobelli

Speaker Biography

Pedro Iacobelli is assistant professor of History in the Institute of History at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. He obtained a M.A. and PhD from ANU, was visiting scholar at Waseda University under a Japan Foundation Fellowship in 2016. His research seeks to connect Japan and South America using various disciplinary lens. Besides the abovementioned book, Dr. Iacobelli has co-edited Transnational Japan as History: Empire, Migration and Social Movements (Palgrave 2016) and Rethinking Postwar Okinawa: Beyond American Occupation (Lexington, 2017). His current book project is a study on the politic, diplomatic and cultural relations between Japan and Chile and Argentina during World War II.

Organiser: SOAS Japan Research Centre

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