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Trans-Pacific Japanese American StudiesConversations on Race and Racializations$
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Yasuko Takezawa and Gary Y. Okihiro

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780824847586

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824847586.001.0001

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date: 16 July 2018

Negotiating Categories and Transgressing (Mixed-) Race Identities

Negotiating Categories and Transgressing (Mixed-) Race Identities

The Art and Narratives of Roger Shimomura, Laura Kina, and Shizu Saldamando

(p.60) Chapter 3 Negotiating Categories and Transgressing (Mixed-) Race Identities
Trans-Pacific Japanese American Studies

Yasuko Takezawa

University of Hawai'i Press

A rapidly growing population of multiracial Japanese Americans are often portrayed either as a visual symbol of the disappearing of race or the romanticized “Happy Hapa.” Are there alternative ways that individuals are transcending binary options and resisting stereotypes? In what context, the collective categories of “Japanese American,” “Asian American,” and “hapa” can be mobilized for what purposes? Based on anthropological in-depth interviews, this chapter addresses these questions by examining the works and narratives of three artists with Japanese American background, two of whom have mixed roots: Roger Shimomura, Laura Kina, and Shizu Saldamando. This chapter will illuminate these artists’ individual ways of struggles expressed in artworks to fight against “stereotypes”, including one of rejecting social categories while at the same time resisting racism and white-centered norms.

Keywords:   Japanese Americans, multiracial, visual art, artists, hapa, identity, racism, social category

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