Asian Tragedies in the Americas: Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Stories explores the stories of nineteenth-century East Asian migrants throughout the Americas, tracing the asymmetrical international conditions which shaped migrants’ experiences. Won K.Yoon examines such phenomena as Chinese paper (fraudulent) wives and daughters, Korean picture marriages, and Japanese war brides, analyzing the impact of racism and colonialism on East Asian groups and family experiences in the West.
Won K. Yoon is retired and was long-time professor of sociology at La Sierra University and Loma Linda University.
Chapter 1: Western Encounters and Encroachments in East Asia
Chapter 2: A Floating Hell in Devil’s Throat
Chapter 3: The Coolie Mart and Bitter Sugar in Cuba
Chapter 4: A One-way Passage to a Peruvian Hell
Chapter 5: Paper Children: The Enticement of Gold Mountain
Chapter 6: Koreans in Thorny Henequen Fields in Yucatan
Chapter 7: A Korean Picture Marriage: The Lure of Hawaii
Chapter 8: Peruvian Japanese in U.S. Relocation Camps
Chapter 9: An Empire Never Defeated: The Japanese in Brazil
Chapter 10: Japanese War Brides Following G.I. Husbands
In recent years, scholars have written extensively about Chinese and Japanese labor migration and migrants' lives in the Americas. In this wide-ranging, insightful book, Yoon synthesizes some of this research into a single volume, including extensive coverage of Koreans and Asian women in particular. Descriptions of Chinese working on sugar plantations in Cuba and mining guano in the Chincha Islands of Peru complement the more well-known story of their compatriots laboring in the US. Interestingly, the exploitation in the Chincha Islands was so notorious that it moved even Karl Marx to write about the tragic situation. Koreans recruited for the henequen industry in Yucatan, Mexico, are contrasted with those in the sugar fields of Hawaii. Japanese who migrated to the US are compared with those who went to Peru and elsewhere, but the largest community outside Japan was located in Brazil. The effects of laws and immigration policy, WW II and its aftermath, picture brides, war brides, children of mixed ancestry, race relations, and the prospects for future immigration are also discussed. Recommended. General readers through faculty.
"Yoon provides a comparative analysis of Asian diaspora in the Americas and how this community's experiences intersect with capitalism, slavery, and racial discrimination. From Chinese coolies in Cuba and Peru, to Korean slaves in Yucatan, Mexico, to picture brides in Hawaii, and to Japanese experiences in the Americas, Yoon provides an insightful synthesis of the ‘Asian tragedy’ from global and local contexts."