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Glendon Professor Yukari Takai Receives Major Grant for Research on Japanese Transmigration


Glendon history professor Yukari Takai (right) was awarded a major SSHRC grant for her research on Japanese transmigration across the Pacific and the Canada-U.S. border, between 1882 and1941. The grant of $80,000, covering a three-year period, will enable her to explore the history of Japanese migrants and settlers who landed in Canada, first across the Pacific, then moving to the United States across the Canada-U.S. border during the Exclusion Era of 1882-1941.

Through several research projects and numerous publications, Dr. Takai has established herself as an expert on the history of migration and demographic change. Her recent study of migratory patterns into and throughout the Quebec/New England region in the 19th and 20th centuries offered a new framework for examining the immigrant  experience. Having studied and taught in Canada and Japan, and as a Fulbright Research Scholar at the Center for the Study of Ethnicity & Race at Columbia University in New York City, Takai brings a personal perspective to her research.

“The overarching questions that frame my study in this crucial historical context are: why did Japanese labourers, farmers, students, entrepreneurs, wives, and prostitutes continue to move on to the United States after having arrived in Canada, and how did human agency and state regulations shape their trans-border migration in the Pacific Northwest and beyond”, explains Takai. She aims to explore how multiple actors of migration — migrants and settlers, state regulators, transporters, and agents of migration such as labour contractors, boarding house operators, and smugglers — shaped and negotiated the labour and the mobility of migrants as well as the power of the nation-states at the very time when Canada and the United States implemented a series of racially exclusionary laws and regulations.

Submitted by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny

Published on November 9, 2010