Megha WadhwaDec 14, 2021
Indian Migrants in Tokyo
A Study of Socio-Cultural, Religious, and Working Worlds
Japan is often imagined as a homogeneous society with few immigrant communities, but it is increasingly home to migrants from across the world. How does an extended stay in Japan influence Indian migrants’ sense of their identity as they adapt to a country very different from their own? Indian Migrants in Tokyo: A Study of Socio-Cultural, Religious, and Working Worlds (Routledge, 2020) by Megha Wadhwa explores the small but growing community of Indian migrants living in Japan. Japan has very distinctive customs and a complex culture, to which foreigners often struggle to adapt. Links between India and Japan go back a long way in history, and the connections and relations between the two countries have evolved and transformed over the years. The emerging Indian diaspora in Japan is one contemporary and important facet of this relationship between the two countries. Focusing on Indian migrants settled in Tokyo, this book analyzes their lives through interviews with approximately one hundred respondents among them, as well as extensive participant observation. Wadhwa examines the lifestyles, fears, problems, relations, and expectations of Indians who attempt to create “a home away from home” in Japan. This book will be of great interest to anthropologists and sociologists concerned with diaspora communities and the impact of migration, as well as scholars who research Japan, India, or both countries and regions.
Megha Wadhwa is a Research Associate at the Institute of Japanese Studies at the Free University of Berlin and a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Comparative Culture at Sophia University in Tokyo.
Shatrunjay Mall is a PhD candidate at the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He works on transnational Asian history, and his dissertation explores intellectual, political, and cultural intersections and affinities that emerged between Indian anti-colonialism and imperial Japan in the twentieth century.