The Affinity of the Eye
288 pages, 6 x 9
12 photos
Release Date:06 Jun 2013
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The Affinity of the Eye

Writing Nikkei in Peru

The University of Arizona Press
In The Affinity of the Eye: Writing Nikkei in Peru, Ignacio López-Calvo rises above the political emergence of the Fujimori phenomenon and uses politics and literature to provide one of the first comprehensive looks at how the Japanese assimilated and inserted themselves into Peruvian culture. Through contemporary writers’ testimonies, essays, fiction, and poetry, López-Calvo constructs an account of the cultural formation of Japanese migrant communities. With deftly sensitive interviews and comments, he portrays the difficulties of being a Japanese Peruvian. Despite a few notable examples, Asian Peruvians have been excluded from a sense of belonging or national identity in Peru, which provides López-Calvo with the opportunity to record what the community says about their own cultural production. In so doing, López-Calvo challenges fixed notions of Japanese Peruvian identity.

The Affinity of the Eye scrutinizes authors such as José Watanabe, Fernando Iwasaki, Augusto Higa, Doris Moromisato, and Carlos Yushimito, discussing their literature and their connections to the past, present, and future. Whether these authors push against or accept what it means to be Japanese Peruvians, they enrich the images and feelings of that experience. Through a close reading of literary and cultural productions, López-Calvo’s analysis challenges and reframes the parameters of being Nikkei in Peru.

Covering both Japanese issues in Peru and Peruvian issues in Japan, the book is more than a compendium of stories, characters, and titles. It proves the fluid, enriching, and ongoing relationship that exists between Peru and Japan.
A unique contribution to the scholarship, this rewarding book provides a rich account, juicy in details, data, and solid information on seven Japanese Peruvian writers and their works."—Choice Reviews

“This book is a necessity. The writers that López-Calvo presents offer an amplifying view of what it means to be Peruvian.”—Debbie Lee-DiStefano, author of Three Asian-Hispanic Writers from Peru: Doris Moromisato, José Watanabe, Siu Kam Wen
This is an important book. As far as I know, no other study has addressed the subject of Peruvian Nikkei writers so comprehensively.”—Blake S. Locklin, a contributor to Orientalism and Identity in Latin America
Ignacio López-Calvo is a professor of Latin American literature at the University of California, Merced. He is the author of five books on Latin American and US Latino literature and culture, including Latino Los Angeles in Film and Fiction: The Cultural Production of Social Anxiety (also published by the University of Arizona Press).
List of Illustrations
Foreword: Peruvian Japonisms
Fernando Iwasaki
A Note on Translation

Part I. Nikkei Testimonials
1 Seiichi Higashide’s Adiós to Tears: Flexible Citizenship, American War Propaganda, and the Birth of Anti-Japanese Hysteria in Peru
2 Okinawa, el reino de la cortesía and Okinawa: Un siglo en el Perú: Dialogues with Nationalism and Renegotiations of (Sub)Ethnicity
Part II. Nikkei Narratives
3 Nippo-Peruvian Self-Identifi cation in Augusto Higa’s La iluminación de Katzuo Nakamatsu and Japón no da dos oportunidades
4 Lima + Seville = Okinawa: The Japanese as Caricature in Fernando Iwasaki’s España, aparta de mí estos premios
5 Carlos Yushimito’s Post-nationalist and Post-identitarian Short Stories
Part III. Nikkei Poetry
6 Japanese Culture and the Politics of Cultural Belonging in José Watanabe’s Poetry
7 Gender Roles, Sexuality, and Uchinanchu Cultural Identity in Doris Moromisato’s Poetry

Chronological List of Analyzed Works
Works Cited
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