Explorations of difference in a homogeneous field: Intermarriage and mixedness amongst Brazilian migrants in Japan

  • Paul Green University of Melbourne
Keywords: intermarriage, mixedness, kinship, migration, generational change


Studies of Brazilian migrants living in Japan tend to focus on the importance of individual and collective identity dynamics at the boundary between migrant self and host Japanese other. An emphasis on boundedness, sameness and groupness in this field has led to important gaps in research, in terms of intermarriage and mixedness. Based on extensive
ethnographic fieldwork in Japan this article examines how people make sense of such concerns, in memory, narrative and practice, in their everyday lives and in relation to and negotiation with other family members. A focus on kin and generational change, I suggest, provides a fresh basis to explore broader connections between self, ethnicity and nation
state amongst Brazilian migrants living in Japan. In conclusion, this research highlights the importance of transcending a focus on relations and boundaries between migrant self and host other in migration studies in order to examine a range of social experiences, relations and differences evident within given migrant groups.