The Mexican Transpacific
Nikkei Writing, Visual Arts, and Performance
This book, a continuation of author Ignacio López-Calvo’s previous research on cultural production by Latin American authors of Asian ancestry, focuses mostly on literature, theater, and visual arts produced by Japanese immigrants in Mexico and their descendants, rather than on the Japanese community as a mere object of study. With this interdisciplinary project, López-Calvo aims to bring to the fore this silenced community’s voice and agency to historicize its own experience.
Introduction: Nikkei Cultural Production and Transpacific Studies from a Latin Americanist Perspective
Part I: Immigrant, Literary Negotiations of National Identity
1. Nonaka's Memoir: From Captain in the Mexican Revolution to Enemy of the State
2. Challenges to Nihonjinron in Nakatani's Memoirs
3. Strategic Essentialism in Akane's Performative Tanka
Part II: Japanese Mexican Visual and Performance Arts
4. Resignifying Yamato-damashii and Utopian Socialism in the Manga Los samuráis de México
5. Nishizawa's Bicultural Dialectics and the Critical Stereotyping of His Art
6. The Transpacific in Akiko's Theatrical Performance
Conclusion: Another Past Is Possible
"Through the study of memoirs, poetry, manga, painting, and theater, [this book] brilliantly shows Nikkei cultural production from 1906 until today. On a broader scale, López-Calvo draws out implications for questions of transnational migration and national identity. This project makes a groundbreaking contribution to the historical dialogues between Asia and Latin America."
—Araceli Tinajero, author of A Cultural History of Spanish Speakers in Japan
"[Lopez-Calvo's] project makes original contributions to the field, particularly in its treatment of literary, theatrical, and visual texts by Japanese Mexicans that have not previously been rigorously discussed before, either independently or taken together."
—Seth Jacobowitz, winner of the International Convention of Asia Scholars Book Prize in the Humanities, 2017, and author of Writing Technology in Meiji Japan: A Media History of Modern Japanese Literature and Visual Culture