The Spiritual Foundation for Settler Life: Generational Consciousness and Japanese American Literature, 1917-1925

The Spiritual Foundation for Settler Life

February 24, 2021

February 24, 2021 | 5-5:30 p.m. | Online - Zoom WebinarLeong Lecture Picture

Speaker: Andrew Leong, Assistant Professor, Dept. of English, UC Berkeley

Generational terms such as “Issei” (first-generation) and “Nisei” (second-generation) did not appear to be in common use in Japanese American immigrant society until the late 1910s and early 1920s. Through closer examination of a digitized corpus of Japanese-language newspapers, we can see how educated immigrant elites began to propagate generational concepts in newspaper editorials starting around 1917. We can also observe the crucial role that newspaper literary contests in 1924 and 1925 played in popularizing and solidifying the use of generational terminology.

*Aspects of Japanese Studies showcases the research being done by members of the CJS community. Faculty, graduate students and alumni of CJS present a casual 15-minute online talk on their current work or key research topics in Japanese Studies. Talks are followed by questions and answers.