A high degree of cultural and racial homogeneity has long been associated with Japan, with its political discourse and with the lexicon of post-war Japanese scholarship. This book examines underlying assumptions. The author provides an analysis of racial discourse in Japan, its articulation and re-articulation over the past century, against the background of labour migration from the colonial periphery. He deconstructs the myth of a `Japanese race'.
Michael Weiner pursues a second major theme of colonial migration; its causes and consequences. Rather than merely identifying the `push factors', the analysis focuses on the more dynamic `pull factors' that determined immigrant destinations. Similarly, rather than focusing upon the immigrant, the author examines the structural need for low-cost temporary labour that was filled by Korean immigrants.