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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Gender and Japanese Immigrants to Peru, 1899 through World War II

  • Author(s): Moore, Stephanie C.
  • et al.

This paper explores gender relations in the Japanese Peruvian community during its first 45 years of existence, with attention to gendered state policies in both Japan and Peru that affected the Nikkei community in Peru. Relying primarily on oral interviews, it follows Nikkei men and women's own descriptions of their lives. Japanese cultural norms shaped patterns of migration, labor and family for emigrants to Peru, though late-Meiji ideology about women's role found relatively less echo than older rural patterns. As Japanese immigrants' labor patterns shifted, women found new roles, such as in store management, though they remained nearly exclusively responsible for child care and the reproduction of families. The relative scarcity of Japanese women in Peru had some effect on marriage and remarriage patterns, but ethnic associations and public sociability remained primarily male spheres in Peru.

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