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A piece of Bengal in Japan: the intercultural relationships between Bengalis and Japanese in Tokyo

Best, Maya (2020) A piece of Bengal in Japan: the intercultural relationships between Bengalis and Japanese in Tokyo. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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With the decrease in birth rate and rise in the elderly population, there is a great need for foreign labor in Japan. However, Japan’s strict and temporary immigration policies have made it very difficult for refugees to be granted asylum status or for working-class immigrants to settle in Japan. This research offers a qualitative exploration of instances of effective integration of Bengali migrants—from Bangladesh and West Bengal, India—into Japanese society, coming for economic and asylum related purposes. I examine examples of migrants who have been able to fulfill economic needs while also introducing new artforms and practices to Japan, strengthening intercultural relationships in ways that native Japanese appreciate and even emulate. Using ethnographic participant observation and in-person interviews, this research reveals how Bengalis have recreated feelings of "home" and "belonging" through culture exchange venues such as food industries, artforms, and language.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Best, Mayamzb22@pitt.edumzb22
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorCabot, Heathhcabot@pitt.eduhcabot
Committee MemberChilson, Clarkchilson@pitt.educhilson
Committee MemberConstable, Nicolencgrad@pitt.eduncgrad
Committee MemberColeman,
Date: 4 May 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 16 March 2020
Approval Date: 4 May 2020
Submission Date: 16 April 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 129
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Anthropology
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: diaspora, migration, home, displacement, Bengali, Bangladeshi, Japanese, Tokyo, immigration policy, Japan, Bengal, Bangla, Bangladesh, mixed-race, cultural exchange, intercultural, emulation, migrant worker, citizenship, nationality, race,
Date Deposited: 04 May 2020 14:49
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 14:49


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