Yu TokunagaFeb 6, 2023
Transborder Los Angeles
An Unknown Transpacific History of Japanese-Mexican Relations
University of California Press 2022
Focusing on Los Angeles farmland during the years between the Immigration Act of 1924 and the Japanese Internment in 1942, Transborder Los Angeles: An Unknown Transpacific History of Japanese-Mexican Relations (U California Press, 2022) weaves together the narratives of Mexican and Japanese immigrants into a single transpacific history. In this book, Yu Tokunaga moves from international relations between Japan, Mexico, and the US to the Southern California farmland, where ethnic Japanese and Mexicans played a significant role in developing local agriculture, one of the major industries of LA County before World War II. Japanese, Mexicans, and white Americans developed a unique triracial hierarchy in farmland that generated both conflict and interethnic accommodation by bringing together local issues and international concerns beyond the Pacific Ocean and the US-Mexico border. Viewing these experiences in a single narrative form, Tokunaga breaks new ground, demonstrating the close relationships between the ban on Japanese immigration, Mexican farmworkers' strikes, wartime Japanese removal, and the Bracero Program.
David-James Gonzales (DJ) is Assistant Professor of History at Brigham Young University. He is a historian of migration, urbanization, and social movements in the U.S., and specializes in Latina/o/x politics and social movements.