The Real Japanese

My pandemic project has been to research the Japanese performers who came to Britain in the 19th century. They were the first (as far as we know) Japanese people to “bury their bones” in British soil.

I have three aims in writing up my research in podcast and perhaps ultimately book format:

  1. To give more agency to the Japanese performers, particularly the women and children, as a counterbalance to what has been researched and written in English on the flamboyant Western men who brought them out of Japan
  2. To look at their motives for leaving Japan, for settling in Britain and the impact on later generations of their families. Also to look at their loves, careers and brushes with the law, and what this might tell us about immigration and cultural integration today.
  3. Their cultural impact on the arts in Britain, and what we mean by authenticity and originality.

You can listen to the podcasts here on Acast:

And see the images that go with the podcasts here.

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