Early-Career Scholar Forum

Routes Going Back to Roots: Transnational Experiences among Shin-Nisei Raised in Guam on Returning to Japan

Friday, 10 February 2023 | 12:15 - 13:00 (JST)
Zoom Meeting
  • Junichi Shibano School of Contemporary Sociology, Chukyo University
  • Misako Nukaga Professor, Graduate School of Education, The University of Tokyo

In recent years, as Japanese emigration has become more diversified, the number of Japanese youths born and raised abroad has increased. They are called the shin-nisei (new second-generation Japanese immigrants), and many of them have never lived in Japan. This presentation focuses on the phenomenon of these shin-nisei returning to Japan. Based on long-term ethnographic research of shin-nisei youths raised in Guam, this study explores why and how this population is returning to Japan and what problems they face in the processes of return. The main findings are threefold. First, influenced by their highly transnationalized experiences since childhood, the shin-nisei in this study attempted to return to Japan as their “roots” as students or workers. Second, however, different routes of return migration have led to different levels of inclusion or exclusion in Japan. Finally, the differences in return experiences among these shin-nisei were derived from structural and institutional constraints in both Guam and Japan.


Junichi Shibano is an Associate Professor at Chukyo University. His research interest lies in the relationship between transnational mobility and career choice of the post war new second-generation Japanese immigrants known as shin-nisei. He has been engaged in ethnographic research in both Guam and Japan with shin-nisei raised in Guam. He received his Ph.D. in Human Sciences from Osaka University in 2017. He published a book based on his dissertation entitled An Ethnography of Japanese Raised in Guam: The Life Course of Shin-Nisei with Japan (written in Japanese) by Nakanishiya Publisher in 2022.