Nikkei Literature in Argentina

October 13, 2022 - 5:00 pm

Room 9205
The Graduate Center, CUNY

In this presentation, I will examine the history of Nikkei literature in Argentina by focusing on two writers from different time periods. Yoshio Shinya (1884-1954), the first documented Japanese immigrant in Argentina, wrote his signature text Imperio del sol naciente: Su maravillosa evolución moderna [Empire of the Rising Sun: Its Marvelous Modern Evolution] in 1934 as a way to promote positive images of Imperial Japan. In the twenty-first century, a new group of Nikkei authors is rewriting the traditional narrative of Japan through their immigrant literature. For example, Maximiliano Matayoshi (1979-) published his novel Gaijin [Foreigner] in 2003, which describes his own experience as a racialized Japanese-Argentine who struggles with assimilation and discrimination. By analyzing Shinya’s book and Matayoshi’s novel, this presentation seeks to portray different representations of Japaneseness in Argentina’s Nikkei literature, both in the past and the present.

Koichi Hagimoto is associate professor of Spanish at Wellesley College. He is the author of Between Empires: Martí, Rizal and the Intercolonial Alliance (2013). He is also the editor of Trans-Pacific Encounters: Asia and the Hispanic World (2016), the co-editor of a special number for Revista de Crítica Literaria Latinoamericana (2018), and the co-editor of the recent volume, Geografías caleidoscópicas: América Latina y sus imaginarios intercontinentales (2022). His forthcoming book is Samurai in the Land of the Gaucho: Transpacific Modernity and Nikkei Literature in Argentina.

Moderator: Araceli Tinajero, City College & the Graduate Center, CUNY

Proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 OR a negative COVID-19 PCR test will be required prior to your visit.


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