Role of a Japanese Market for New Japanese Migrants in the United States

Aki Yamada


This research paper seeks to provide a clearer understanding of contemporary Japanese migration to the United States through a case study examining the role of one Japanese market, Nijiya Market, in Sawtelle, Los Angeles. This study identifies the main roles that this particular market serves, as evidenced by oral interviews and intensive site observation fieldwork. The findings reveal that the ethnic market is very important to the creation and maintenance of ethnic identity across multiple generations of new Japanese immigrants and migrants living in the United States. Furthermore, as a main component of many Japanese communities, the ethnic market enables Japanese to maintain aspects of their homeland lifestyle and culture, even while living abroad. Perhaps most importantly, they provide these Japanese with a way to extend a bridge between their lives in the United States and their lives in Japan.

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