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Japanese wives in Japanese-Australian intermarriages

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Author(s): Jared Denman

Journal: New Voices : A Journal for Emerging Scholars of Japanese Studies in Australia and New Zealand
ISSN 1833-5233

Volume: 3;
Start page: 64;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Japanese women | intermarriage families | lifestyle migration | diasporic experiences | Australia

ABSTRACT
The diasporic experiences of Japanese partners married to Australians and living in Australia are largely unexamined. This article is based on a study, conducted for an Honours thesis, which invited four Japanese wives living in South East Queensland to describe, together with their Australian husbands, their family’s interactions with Japan, its language and culture, and the local Japanese community. It was recognised that the extensive social networks these wives had established and maintained with local Japanese women from other Japanese-Australian intermarriage families were an important part of their migrant experience.This article will firstly review the literature on contemporary Japanese-Australian intermarriage in Australia and Japanese lifestyle migration to Australia. It will then describe and examine the involvement and motivations of the four wives in their social networks. Entry into motherhood was found to be the impetus for developing and participating in informal, autonomous networks. Additionally, regular visits to Japan were focused on engagement with existing family and friendship networks. The contemporary experience of intermarriage for these women is decidedly transnational and fundamentally different from that of the war brides, or sensō hanayome.
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