Becoming Asian in Australia: migration and a shift in gender relations among Young Japanese

Kumiko Kawashima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Japanese temporary migration has been on the increase over the last few decades, and thousands of Japanese students and Working Holiday Makers (WHMs) enter the country every year.[1] Upon arrival, these temporary migrants become minority members of a society where the white majority has cultural dominance over the 'ethnic' Others. By drawing on the concept of 'contact zones', in this article I explore the question of minority migrants' agency with a focus on everyday representations of unequal racial relations-as viewed from their standpoints. I pay particular attention to the intersection between the structural power relations in which migrants-as-agents are located, and how these actors discursively develop desirable subject positions. By responding to the theme of this Special Issue titled 'Post-Colonial and Contemporary Sexual Contact Zones in East Asia and the Pacific', my analysis deals with interview narratives which explicitly refer to gendered aspects of being young Japanese newcomers in Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalIntersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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