The Japanese American Transnational Generation

Rethinking the Spatial and Conceptual Boundaries of Asian America

Authored by: Michael Jin

The Routledge Handbook of Asian American Studies

Print publication date:  December  2016
Online publication date:  December  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415738255
eBook ISBN: 9781315817514
Adobe ISBN: 9781317813927


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In a special report on April 7, 1939, the Japanese national daily newspaper Asahi Shimbun announced a wedding ceremony held the previous night in Tokyo. The article celebrated the international marriage between Yukiko Tajima, a gifted graduate of prestigious women’s schools in Tokyo, and Zheng Zihan, a resident scholar at Tokyo’s Waseda International Institute and Keio University. Zheng was a son of the then mayor of Mukden, the industrial center of Manchuria. The groom’s late grandfather, Zheng Xaoxu, had been the first prime minister of the Japanese puppet state Manchukuo when Manchuria had become an integral part of Japan’s colonial empire in Asia in the early 1930s. The Asahi Shimbun proudly depicted the matrimony as an event that signified Tokyo as a reigning cosmopolitan center of Asia that had allowed a talented Manchu noble and a modern Japanese woman to pursue a romantic relationship across national borders. 1 The celebratory article on Tajima’s wedding was a part of the efforts made by the Japanese press, under the watchful eye of the militarist government that had seized the country’s political power by the late 1930s, to curtail the negative international publicity brought on by Japan’s aggressive military and foreign policy.

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