Funada-Classen, Sayaka

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Funada-Classen, Sayaka




Office—3-11-1, Asahi-cho, Fuchu-shi, Tokyo 183-8534, Japan. E-mail—[email protected]


Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Tokyo, Japan, senior lecturer for the master's program for peace and conflict studies.


(With Daniel M. Masterson) The Japanese in Latin America, University of Illinois Press (Urbana, IL), 2004.


Sayaka Funada-Classen serves on the faculty of the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies in Tokyo, Japan, where she is a senior lecturer in the master's program for peace and conflict studies. This program was first launched in 2004 by the Graduate School of Area and Culture Studies at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS), and was the first program of its kind to be organized in Japan. The program focuses primarily on regional conflict, using the university's previous success in regional diversity and the teaching of the languages and cultures of more than twenty-six global regions as a foundation for their efforts, enabling them to broaden their offerings to include the study of both regional politics and area studies. The program curriculum focuses on various modern-day conflicts around the world, and looks at the different issues that most frequently serve as a catalyst for the escalation of conflicts into something more volatile, such as religion, culture, and ethnicity. The purpose of the course is to turn out individuals with a firm background in conflict resolution thanks to their careful analysis of real-world situations, with an eye toward mitigating future conflicts and helping with the peace process on a global scale. While the students come from an international background, as do the members of the faculty, classes are all taught in English.

In addition to her academic duties, Funada-Classen has written a book with Daniel M. Masterson, called The Japanese in Latin America. The book addresses the experience of Japanese immigrants who traveled to and settled in Latin America. Unlike other works of this kind, The Japanese in Latin America offers readers a comprehensive look at these immigration trends, addressing not only Japanese immigrants who settle in the largest countries in Latin America—Brazil and Peru—which are the most frequent destinations, but also the rest of the region as well. Japanese immigration to Latin America first began during the last years of the nineteenth century. Prior to then, it was far more likely that Japanese immigrants would end up in the United States or Hawaii or Canada. However, when these places began to ban Japanese immigrants from entering the country, these individuals were forced to seek asylum or a better life elsewhere. In the 1890s the Japanese immigrants began to be redirected southwards, and many ended up in Peru or Mexico. Ultimately, Brazil became the most prominent and frequent destination. Funada-Classen and Masterson look not just at the immigration process itself, however, but at the future generations and how they have continued to make themselves at home in their adopted nations. Eventually Mexico began restricting the number of Japanese immigrants that were allowed into the country, in part because the United States was hyperaware of the insignificant border that was the only thing that separated the two countries, and therefore pressured the Mexican government to take fewer of the Japanese immigrants for fear of them slipping north into the U.S. Michelle J. Moran-Taylor, in a review for Latin American Politics and Society, found the book "provides a wealth of information, in addition to an articulate analysis and systematic comparisons, on a subject that has received scant attention in migration scholarship. But what also makes this scholarly publication especially valuable is that it presents historical comparisons at distinct points with the Japanese immigration to the United States." Carl Mosk, in a review for Pacific Affairs, noted a few minor errors in the text, but overall remarked: "Thorough and grounded in both oral history and written documents, this study has much to recommend itself to the reader." Stephanie C. Moore, reviewing for the Journal of Latin American Studies, opined that "this book touches upon virtually every facet of the Japanese Latin American experience and is thought-provoking for the specialist and generalist alike."



American Historical Review, February, 2005, Janet E. Worrall, review of The Japanese in Latin America, p. 188.

Americas: A Quarterly Review of Inter-American Cultural History, January, 2005, Jeffrey Lesser, review of The Japanese in Latin America, p. 534.

Canadian Journal of History, March 22, 2006, Rosana Barbosa, review of The Japanese in Latin America, p. 170.

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, September, 2004, F.W. Knight, review of The Japanese in Latin America, p. 170.

Hispanic American Historical Review, August, 2006, Ayumi Takenaka, review of The Japanese in Latin America, p. 573.

Journal of Latin American Studies, August, 2005, Stephanie C. Moore, review of The Japanese in Latin America, p. 629.

Latin American Politics and Society, winter, 2005, Michelle J. Moran-Taylor, review of The Japanese in Latin America.

Pacific Affairs, fall, 2004, Carl Mosk, review of The Japanese in Latin America.


Humiliation Studies Web site, (April 17, 2008), author profile.

University of Illinois Press Web site, (April 17, 2008), publisher blurb for The Japanese in Latin America.