Launched by Mexican farmworkers against Japanese farmers in Los Angeles, the 1933 El Monte Berry Strike became one of California’s largest labor conflicts. The strike evolved from a local conflict into an international problem in which anti-Japanese sentiment travelled across the U.S.-Mexico border, merged with Mexican nationalism, and forced Japanese residents in Mexico to issue an unexpected pro-strike statement against their co-ethnics in Los Angeles. Using Japanese diplomatic documents and local ethnic newspapers, this article details the process by which Mexican nationalism trumped ethnic solidarity among Japanese immigrants in the transpacific borderlands, where local and international concerns of Japan, Mexico, and the United States intersected. The exacerbating situation in Mexico, rather than in California, played a decisive role in the settlement of the strike.
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Research Article| April 03 2020
Japanese Farmers, Mexican Workers, and the Making of Transpacific Borderlands
Yu Tokunaga is an associate professor at the Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Kyoto University.
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Pacific Historical Review (2020) 89 (2): 165–197.
Yu Tokunaga; Japanese Farmers, Mexican Workers, and the Making of Transpacific Borderlands. Pacific Historical Review 3 April 2020; 89 (2): 165–197. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/phr.2020.89.2.165
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