Divided Fates: The State, Race, and Korean Immigrants’ Adaptation in Japan and the United States

Suzuki, Kazuko


Book written by 2002 Abe Fellow Kazuko Suzuki based on her project “The State and Immigrant Adaptation: A Comparative Study of the Korean Diaspora in Japan and the United States.”

This book compares the Korean diasporic groups in Japan and the United States. It highlights the contrasting adaptation of Koreans in Japan and the United States, and illuminates how the destinies of immigrants who originally belonged to the same ethnic/national collectivity diverge depending upon destinations and how they are received in a certain state and society within particular historical contexts. The author finds that the mode of incorporation (a specific combination of contextual factors), rather than ethnic ‘culture’ and ‘race,’ plays a decisive role in determining the fates of these Korean immigrant groups. In other words, what matters most for immigrants’ integration is not their particular cultural background or racial similarity to the dominant group, but the way they are received by the host state and other institutions. Thus, this book is not just about Korean immigrants; it is also about how contexts of reception including different conceptualizations of ‘race’ in relation to nationhood affect the adaptation of immigrants from the same ethnic/national origin.