Looking Like the Enemy: Japanese Mexicans, the Mexican State, and US Hegemony, 1897-1945

Looking Like the Enemy: Japanese Mexicans, the Mexican State, and US Hegemony, 1897-1945

by Jerry García

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Overview

At the beginning of the twentieth century, thousands of Japanese citizens sought new opportunities abroad. By 1910, nearly ten thousand had settled in Mexico. Over time, they found work, put down roots, and raised families. But until now, very little has been written about their lives. Looking Like the Enemy is the first English-language history of the Japanese experience in Mexico.
 
Japanese citizens were initially lured to Mexico with promises of cheap and productive land in Chiapas. Many of the promises were false, and the immigrants were forced to fan out across the country, especially to the lands along the US border. As Jerry García reveals, they were victims of discrimination based on “difference,” but they also displayed “markers of whiteness” that linked them positively to Europeans and Americans, who were perceived as powerful and socially advanced. And, García reports, many Mexicans looked favorably on the Japanese as hardworking and family-centered.
 
The book delves deeply into the experiences of the Japanese on both sides of the border during World War II, illuminating the similarities and differences in their treatment. Although some Japanese Mexicans were eventually interned (at the urging of the US government), in general the fear and vitriol that Japanese Americans encountered never reached the same levels in Mexico.
 
Looking Like the Enemy is an ambitious study of a tumultuous half-century in Mexico. It is a significant contribution to our understanding of the immigrant experience in the Western Hemisphere and to the burgeoning field of borderlands studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780816598861
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Publication date: 02/27/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 264
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Jerry García is an associate professor of Chicano studies and history at Eastern Washington University. He is the author of Illusion of Borders: The National Presence of Mexicans in the United States and Memory, Community, and Activism: Mexican Migration and Labor in the Pacific Northwest.

Table of Contents

Contents Illustrations Acknowledgments Abbreviations Introduction: The Japanese Experiment in Mexico 1. Japanese Mexicans, Immigration, and the Public Imagination, 1897–1910 2. Japanese Orientalism and the Mexican Revolution, 1910–1920 3. The Japanese and Post-revolutionary Mexico, 1920s and 1930s 4. The Long Reach of the American Empire: Japanese Mexicans, US Hegemony, and Mexican Propaganda, 1941–1945 5. Prisoners without Chains: The Forced Relocation of Japanese Mexicans, 1942–1945 6. El Comité Japonésde Ayuda Mutua: Hacienda Internment Camps and Japanese Resistance, 1942–1945 Conclusion: I Am 60 Percent Mexican and 60 Percent Japanese Notes Bibliography Index About the Author

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Looking Like the Enemy: Japanese Mexicans, the Mexican State, and US Hegemony, 1897-1945 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Insightful book on Japanese outside of the United States. Appears to be well research and is an easy read. This book is also about Mexico and the U.S. during important periods of U.S.-Mexican relations. This will be useful for those unaware of Japanese in Mexico or Mexican history during the first half of the twentieth century.