Online Lecture: Japanese Settler Colonialism and Trans-Pacific Migration

Melissa Dale Discussion

The University of San Francisco Center for Asia Pacific Studies welcomes Professor Sidney X. Lu (Rice University) for an online lecture examining how Chinese exclusion in the U.S. stimulated Japanese expansion into Latin America and the South Seas. 

The Japanese sojourners and migrants first experienced white racism in the U.S. by observing the Chinese immigrants’ bitter struggles against discrimination. The U.S. exclusion of the Chinese immigrants made the Japanese elites both in Tokyo and San Francisco worry that the Japanese in the U.S. would soon be excluded just like the Chinese. This anxiety stimulated the efforts of Japanese expansionists and migration promoters to explore Mexico, Peru, Hawaii, and islands in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific as alternatives to the American west as the destinations of Japanese migration. This research thus bridges American ethnic studies and Asian area studies by illustrating the unexpected ways in which white racism against Asian immigrants and the inter-ethnic relations between Chinese and Japanese immigrants in the United States jointly propelled Japanese settler colonial expansion across the Pacific.

Sidney X. Lu is Annette and Hugh Gragg Associate Professor in the Department of Transnational Asian Studies at Rice University. He is a historian of modern Japan and East Asia, and is the author of the book, The Making of Japanese Settler Colonialism: Malthusianism and Trans-Pacific Migration, 1868-1961 (Cambridge University Press, 2019). He is currently completing his second book that examines the importance of Japanese migration to Brazil in the evolution of the Japanese colonial empire.

Community Partners: MA in Asia Pacific Studies (MAPS) program and Asian Pacific American Studies (APAS) at the University of San Francisco

Please join us!

Wednesday, April 27, 2022 

5:30 - 6:45 pm PT, Online (Zoom Webinar)

Free and open to the public. Registration required.