Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian

Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian

Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans [PDF] ✅ Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans Author Ronald Takaki – In an extraordinary blend of elouent narrative history vivid personal recollection and oral testimony Ronald Takaki relates the diverse 150 year history of Asian Americans Through richly detailed vign In an extraordinary blend of elouent narrative history a Different Epub à vivid personal recollection and oral testimony Ronald Takaki relates the diverse year history of Asian Americans Through richly detailed vignettes by turns bitter funny and inspiring he offers a stunning panorama of a neglected part of American history pages of photographs.

10 thoughts on “Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans

  1. l. l. says:

    Issues that I had with this book1 This book is 491 pages long Of these only 24 were spent discussing the experiences of Indian Americans Was it because Takaki exhaustively covers all Asian immigration to America? No It's because the book focuses heavily on Japanese Chinese and Korean immigrants with lesser amounts of time being spent on Filipino immigrants and as said 24 pages on Indian Americans I suppose there are also some short write ups on the experiences of refugees from Vietnam 12 pages Laos 8 pages and Cambodia 4 pages towards the end of the book but again the brevity makes me uestion Takaki's priorities in writing this book If he wanted to write a book solely on East Asian immigration to America he should have done so2 South Asian Americans were consistently referred to as 'Asian Indians' in this book and only on page 447 the second of the two sections that discuss South Asian immigrants in any form the first being from 294 314 was it inadvertently revealed that Takaki chose this appellation because it was the official census category in 1981 presumably to distinguish South Asian Americans from indigenous peoples I'm not sure of the politics involved in referring to indigenous peoples in America as 'Indians' but I think that just because a census 8 years prior to publication of your book chose to refer to a group of people with an inappropriate label as reaction to a outdated and racist label doesn't mean it's the one that you as a professor of ethnography should also use3 The chapter dealing with 'Asian Indians' 'The Tide of Turbans' Asian Indians in America The title dealing with Filipino Americans Dollar a Day Dime a Dance the Forgotten Filipinos In contrast the chapters dealing with East Asians were Ethnic Solidarity The Settling of Japanese America; Ethnic Islands The Emergence of Urban Chinese America; and Struggling Against Colonialism Koreans in America I have been known to overreact but I'm pretty sure there's a tone of respectfulness in the titles dealing with East Asians that's distinctly lacking in the chapters re Indians and Filipinos4 It's the content too Why is the Ghadar movement covered in less than one page while the chapter on Korean Americans emphasizes their anti colonial actions? I suppose it could be because the Korean American anti colonial movement concerns the interactions of Japanese Americans and Korean Americans but still Also rme to the skies at the bit where Takaki writes about how Filipino men had an advantage over East Asian immigrants with women because they had been schooled by the Spanish in romance just jfc Maybe Filipino men were better able to breach the cultural divide with white women because of their exposure to Spanish culture but why would you word it like that What is this 'Oh thank you kind colonial masters for teaching us the arts of love' tone Just5 uoting immigrants' interviewsmemoirscreative works is fantastic I'm glad that Takaki makes such good use of these valuable sources but at the same time when a person gives you this narrative wherein he presents on the one hand this evil white woman who ruins a strike using her feminine wiles and proclaims that she did it because I hate Filipinos as deeply as I hate unions You are all savages and on the other this saintly prostitute the song of my dark hour who rescues the narrator after he's been attacked by racist thugs feeds him shelters him drives him where he wants him to go gives him all her money Now you can go to university Nearly three hundred dollars All for you and dies shortly after you've got to wonder to what extent is this part of the narrator's personal mythology than his history? Sentimental stories with good hearted prostitutes that die for our sins where are we in a Dostoevsky novel? Switch the ending let the prostitute live make the narrator bring her a sewing machine and marry her and there we are Chernyshevsky revisited But Takaki looks at this and goes see white woman 1 represented America's mean and exclusionist spirit while white woman 2 personified America's sympathy and softness Just nope 6 He does that thing students do where when they're unsure of how their paper ties together and so repeat one 'key' phrase 500 times in order to create a sense of connection between the points made In Takaki's case it's the phrase 'strangers from another shore' though he switches it up and sometimes just reminds us that the immigrants are treated like 'strangers' or that they're perceived as being forever 'from another shore' And it's ridiculous because the idea that Takaki is trying to convey that the racist reception of white Americans to Asian immigrants was in large part responsible for their 'alienation' from American society the fact of which created prejudices among white Americans about Asian Americans' failure to integrate couldn't be clearer or obvious And yet five pages don't go by without Takaki invoking the fact of Asian Americans being 'strangers from another shore' Stoooooooop7 There's this moment where Takaki writes that among the many abuses this Japanese immigrant suffered he was even called 'a chink' Why is there this 'even'? Is it really surprising that someone who would use a racial epithet wouldn't know or care about the differences between East Asians? There's no 'even' when Takaki talks about how 'Asian Indians' and Filipinos were called the n word Idk it's just one of those details that catch your attention and seem to confirm the suspicions you had about the writer even though they're not really demonstrative of anythingBut despite these things it's a good history of East Asians in America

  2. John Lim John Lim says:

    A thoughtfully written history of Asian American migration especially in the discussion of migration from SE Asia Laos Vietnam Cambodia It's unnerving to think about how much of the Asian diasporic experience is grounded in war the Korean War World War II the Vietnam War the Secret War in Laos Takaki also has a great discussion of affirmative action and the model minority myth My only ualm how Takaki uses the phrase strangers from a different shore every four pages

  3. Morgan Dhu Morgan Dhu says:

    Ronald Takaki's Strangers from a Different Shore is a history of Asian Americans I wish I could find something similar that deals with the history of Asian communities in Canada because one thing I do know is that while some of the patterns of immigration and exclusion are the same from the early use of East Asians as a cheap expendable labour force to the incarceration of Japanese immigrants in interment camps and much that happened in between the shared Commonwealth membership of Canada and some Asian nations made for different immigration patterns and the overall proportion of people of Asian background in the general population is greater in Canada than in the US around 12 percent compared to around six percentBut there are many books I want to read about Canada that haven't been written or if they have been aren't accessible Back to Ronald Takaki's study of Asian Americans Takaki begins by noting that Asian Americans have been left out of the popular concept of what it means to be American For many people American means white; it may be accompanied by African American but rarely does it encompass the notion of Asian American Nor does the popular immigration narrative of Asians in American match that of the European immigrant the first sight of Lady Liberty the arrival at Ellis Island As Takaki stresses Asian Americans are strangers from a different shore the countries of the Pacific Rim and South Asia but they also arrived at a different shore some in Hawaii some the West coast And unlike many European arrivals who assimilated often within a generation Asian Americans remain in some ways strangers in the land they have been born in Takaki's project is a large and complicated one looking at the immigration of so many diverse groups Chinese Japanese Korean Filipino Indian and others across American history But even among the differences some threads connect the experiences of most groupsThe early history of Asian immigrants in Hawaii and the Western states is one of being seen as the answer to a growing demand for cheap labour Not only could Asian workers be employed in agricultural and other areas where many whites would not work they could be paid far less than white labourers White farm owners and other large scale employers used Asian immigrants to discourage union organising among white workers and hired Asian workers along with Mexican and Puerto Rican workers from different nations to discourage solidarity the California Department of Industrial Relations reported that growers preferred to employ 'a mixture of laborers of various races speaking diverse languages and not accustomed to mingling with each other The practice was intended to avoid labor trouble which might result from having a homogeneous group of laborers of the same race or nationality Laborers speaking different languages were not as likely to arrive at a mutual understanding which would lead to strikes' White landowners often used the ethnic diversity of the agricultural labour force to manipulate workers They would pit Japanese crews against Korean or Chinese crews playing on traditional animosities to encourage competition in worker output They would hire Mexican workers as strikebreakers when Filipino workers tried to negotiate better pay Takaki continues coming from 'a different shore' Asian immigrants constituted a uniue laboring army of 'strangers' to use Georg Simmel’s term of alien origin they were brought here to serve as an 'internal colony' nonwhites allowed to enter as 'cheap' migratory laborers and members of a racially subordinated group not future citizens of American societyAnother common thread that surfaced with almost every new wave of immigration from Asia was the issue of interracial relationships Immigration laws often separated families or favoured single men as immigrants In some cases the ratios of men to women immigrating was as high as ten to one Men alone without their wives or without any chance if finding wives from their own backgrounds freuented brothels and sex workers And some formed long term relationships with white women even though in many states interracial marriages were against the law Fear of Asian men as sexual predators surfaced at regular intervals; like blacks in America Asian immigrants were often portrayed as dangerous to the safety of white women and the purity of the national bloodlines Changing immigration laws over time made it sometimes possible for entire families to come to America at other times only men were allowed specifically as labourers Sometimes they were able to gain citizenship and bring wives and children to join them at other times the path to citizenship was difficult and even citizens could not sponsor non citizens In some cases Asian immigrants who had at ine time been able to acuire citizenship such as immigrants from Indus had their citizenship taken away when exclusion laws were extended to include them The laws changed based on the economic needs and racial prejudices of white America and patterns of immigration among Asians of different nationalities changed with the laws The early stories of different waves of Asian immigrants are fairly similar most came to America to find economic success hoping to either return home as wealthy men or to bring their families to join them in a land of prosperity While some did achieve one of these goals for many the dream was never realised They faced discrimination back breaking work for low wages They were seen as an expendable labour force but not as prospective citizens They build the railways planted and harvested the food worked in service industries across the country but were never accepted as ‘real Americans’ And then things changed with the involvement of the US in WWII which had very different meanings and conseuences for different groups of Asian Americans For Filipinos in America the war in the Pacific was a direct threat to the families they had left behind Many enlisted and fought with white soldiers against Imperial Japan and many hoped that fighting for American interests would result in them being seen finally as Americans For Koreans the war rekindled hope for Korean independence in the aftermath of a possible destruction of Imperial Japanese military power Although the US government viewed Koreans as Japanese subjects and classed them as “enemy aliens” many became involved in the war effort as best they could joining the National Guard and serving as translators Indian and Chinese immigrants benefitted from wartime alliances Allied strategy called for an accommodation with India as a potential block against Imperial Japan’s plans in southeast Asia while China allied with the US and declared war on Japan Chinese communities in America contributed extensively to the war effort and enlistment was high among Chinese men By the end of the war the Exclusion Act had been repealed opening doors for immigrants from both countries Japanese Americans living in the western states were confined in internment camps as potential enemy combatants their property confiscated In Hawaii where Japanese had been integrated into the mainstream community and where large proportions of key tradespeople necessary to the war effort were Japanese wide scale internment did not take place Despite the internments 33000 Japanese Americans served in the US military during the war In the postwar era many veterans in all these groups used their status to become citizens and to finally bring their families to the United States Despite the lowering of immigration bans against Chinese Indian and Filipino immigrants uotas were set at very low levels which remained until the 1960s when race based immigration policies were technically ended and all Asian nations assigned uotas in line with those for European countries This resulted in yet shifts in the patterns of immigration and changes in the class and educational levels of those immigrants although it did not necessarily make it easier for Asian immigrants to find jobs and social acceptance once they arrived While many immigrants from Asian countries now arrive in the US with advanced degrees business capital or both others are refugees from wars poverty and environmental disasters and arrive with almost nothing In telling the story of Asians coming to and living and working in America Takaki alternates between a remote and academic historical narrative of facts and events and legislation and a #ownvoice narrative that relies heavily on letters journals interviews songs and poems to convey the experiences from the perspectives of the immigrants themselves which he explores and expands on In these sections he closes the distance even further by including where appropriate details from the experiences of his own familyIn this well researched and well organised study Takaki covers much ground from the experiences of early Chinese laborers to refugees from Vietnam Laos and Cambodia in the post Vietnam war era Written in 1989 and revised in 1998 the recent stories of Asian peoples in America are missing but as a historical survey it is an excellent resource for anyone seeking to understand issues of diversity in the US Takaki concludes his work with this summation“throughout history Asian Americans have been transforming America and also finding themselves being transformed by America Since the arrival of the first Chinese during the 1849 gold rush the interaction between Asian Americans and the larger society has been dynamic and dialectical Exploited as agricultural and industrial workers they fought for justice through labor unions and strikes Victims of the “white” only provision of 1790 Naturalization Law they organized campaigns that culminated in its nullification in 1952 — a victory that made political membership inclusive and the Statue of Liberty a democratic symbol Forced into segregated Chinatowns and internment camps Asian Americans joined the US military during World War II and fought as “one people” against fascism abroad and for euality at home Excluded by racist immigration laws like the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act and the 1924 National Origins Act they helped end this discrimination with the 1965 Immigration Act Denied their cultures in a Eurocentric society Asian Americans sought to preserve their heritages by creating communities like Chinatowns as well as Nihonmachis Japantowns organizing festivals and founding language schools as well as churches and temples Rendered invisible in mainstream history textbooks and courses they established their own historical societies and museums and also organized exhibits for the Smithsonian Institution And through a student activism that emerged in the sixties and resurged in the nineties they innovated new curriculums in Asian American studies at universities across America — from Berkeley and UCLA to Minnesota and Michigan to Cornell Columbia and PrincetonThese struggles of Asian Americans have been a continuous rebellion against the exclusive constructions of “we the people” and a constant resolve to help make this “a perfect union” an ethnically diverse yet united society The recovering and sharing of their stories can help all Americans understand why these immigrants who went east to America should have been viewed and treated not as “strangers” but as Americans “from a different shore” The history of Asian Americans offers all of us an opportunity to carry into the coming century a larger memory of America’s past”

  4. Anatalio Ubalde Anatalio Ubalde says:

    Strangers from a different shore is a very tough book to read coming from a pacific islander This book is about the hardships and brutal things that my people and ancestors had to deal with From racism unemployment death underpaying jobs etc this book explores what Asians had to deal with when coming from there corrupt home countries As well as what they dealt with for hundreds of years Ronald Takaki gives a beautiful representation of what the Asian race dealt with for many decades and even centuries In this book you will see the lives of Asians as well as Asian Americans living their lives in Ameria

  5. Penelope Penelope says:

    Much here I didn't know well presented and enlightening I'm astonished at the obstacles these people had to overcome and how well they did just that

  6. Cyndi Cyndi says:

    Read for my Asian American History class the book is detailed but not boring relating the story of how different nationalities of Asians came to America and when Some came willingly and some were forced from their countries due to harsh regimes and American influence Real numbers are given and real stories with names to personalize the struggle to try to fulfill dreams Most came not as inhabiters but as sojourners never meaning to stay but caught in the reality of trying to earn a living in a country that not always welcomed and often took advantage of them due to lack of language skills and knowledge of laws that were meant to protect Often in the beginning there were no laws or there were laws aimed at opressing the immigrants Depressing was those who came here with the same intents as their fellow countrymen and yet used them to get ahead with no thought of the opression they were inflicting Parallels were made to the blacks who had just won their freedom and the Asian coolies who were then imported to do the work of the previous slaves The timeline is important as is how the nationalities were used against each other by those in power to keep themselves in power Second and third generations talked about with the saddest part being the loss of culture as they assimilated into American culture The word liminality used a lot to describe the threshold or betweeness felt by many Good book told with the intent to educate not blame but will raise the conscious level of the reader

  7. Z. Rose Z. Rose says:

    This is my inaugural Goodreads review I felt that this book warranted one because it's subject matter is immensely important to me During my undergrad I minored in ethnic studies with a focus on Asian Americans Myself being first generation Filipino American I've had a curiousity about the influence of Asian Americans in society Strangers From a Different Shore was the most referenced text in my university's intro to Asian American history course It focused on an overview of mainly the first Asian migrants from China Japan The Philippines and India and their experiences coming to the US The later chapters of the book touch upon recent migrants experiences from Asia but not too in depth There are many themes that resonated for me including commentary regarding Asian Americans being the model minority as well as being treated as the constant outsider The writer Ronald Takaki does a great job of writing this in an approachable not densely academic style He weaves narrative of the universal experience of being an immigrant in with historical data I honestly think this should be reuired reading for any ethnic studies course It should also be supplementary reading in American History classes either in AP or university level It isn't hard to follow and it makes you appreciate and realize the influence Asian Americans contributed to The United States Coincidently this month of May just happens to be Asian American and Pacific Islanders month Highly recommend this be read

  8. Rachel Matsuoka Rachel Matsuoka says:

    My only comment is Every American should read thisAn excellent thorough summation of the American history that is very much absent from our history books I loved that Takaki incorporated excerpts of poetry and prose written by the men and women of early Asian America to show real emotions and how they dealt with the struggles they were faced with A lot was familiar to me than I thought I was amused and delighted at his descriptions of Japanese and Hawaiian culture island life the emergence of pidgin English the diversified food that became known as Hawaiian The things I had taken for granted in my life suddenly had meaning and value to me after their immigrant histories were explained It was a light bulb moment for sureIt's different for me to read about my own heritage and family life in a history book It gives you a sense of pride for your family and where you come from It also endows you with a sense of importance when you realize that you DO in fact have direct ties to those that shaped the land with their own hands The fact that our history is entirely invisible in regular school curriculums is an injustice Asian American students are denied this knowledge this power and this feeling of belonging and ownership of the country even though the blood sweat and tears of our ancestors in the railroads gold mines plantations laundromats World Wars etc have certainly earned us that right

  9. Taki Taki says:

    I can only hope and wish that this book ends up in the hands of as many Asian Americans living in white suburbs across the country as possibleI grew up in the midwestIt's definitely not a comprehensive look at Asian American history He definitely focuses mostly on Chinese Japanese and Korean Americans There is a whole chapter each on South Asian and Filipino Americans As a Japanese American the history portrayed in this book may have meant a little to me than for other Asian Americans because of this factThe history starts with the Chinese who migrated to California to look for gold in 1849 and details how hard it was to be an Asian in this country Many were virtually sucked in by capitalism and forced to work on the plantations crushing the sojourners' dreams of wealth and extravagance This work was invaluable to the American economy today setting the foundation for the rail system and also the agricultural powerhouse of CaliforniaRead this book to fill a massive gap in your American history education

  10. Wai Yip Tung Wai Yip Tung says:

    This is a sweeping 150 years history of Asian immigrant in united states It traces the situation of various Asian groups primary Chinese Japanese and Filipinos Brought in to fill the labor need with the largest number concentrated in California and Hawaii they are often rejected by the mainstream white society They are treated with hostility discriminated marginalized and condemned by constitution for the most part of historyToday in San Francisco Chinese is elected to the position both of the Mayor and the President of the board of supervisor Asians are active participant of all levels of the society which is now largely meritocratic I am really lucky to be an Asian in this era rather than the last century It is an important historical lesson to learn how it was used to be and how we become who we are today

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