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Sansei (三世, literally, "third generation") is a Japanese language term used in countries in North America and South America to name the children born to Japanese people who immigrated. The emigrants or immigrants who were born in Japan are called Issei; and their children born in the new country are called Nisei (second generation). The grandchildren of Issei are called Sansei (third generation).[1]

The character and uniqueness of the Sansei is recognized in its social history.[2]

History[change | change source]

The grandchildren of these Japanese-Brazilian (Nipo-brasileiros) immigrants would be called Sansei.

The earliest organized group of Japanese emigrants settled in Mexico in 1897.[3]

Imigration to Brazil began in 1908. Today, the community which grew from the immigrant children and grandchildren has become the largest Japanese emigrant population outside of Japan, including approximately 1.5 million Brazilians.[4] Other communities of Sansei grew up in the United States,[5] Canada,[6] and Peru.[7]

The use of the term Sansei was modeled after an Issei pattern or template. In the 1930s, the term Issei came into common use. The word replaced the term "immigrant" (ijusha). This change in usage mirrored an evolution in the way the Issei looked at themselves. The label Issei also included the idea of belonging to the new country.[6]

Cultural profile[change | change source]

The term Nikkei (日系) was created by sociologists in the late 20th century. The Nikkei include all of the world's Japanese immigrants and their descendants.[8]

The Issei were born in Japan, and their cultural perspective was primarily Japanese; but they were in America by choice.[9] Their Sansei grandsons and granddaughters grew up with a national and cultural point-of-view that was different from their grandparents.

Although the Issei kept an emotional connection with Japan, they created homes in a country far from Japan.[10] The Sansei had never known a country other than the one into which they were born.

Generation Cohort description
Issei (一世) The generation of people born in Japan who immigrated to another country.[11]
Nisei (二世) The generation of people born in North America, Latin America, Australia, Hawaii, or any country outside of Japan either to at least one Issei parent.[11]
Sansei (三世) The generation of people born to at least one Nisei parent.[11]
Yonsei (四世) The generation of people born to at least one Sansei parent[11]
Gosei (五世) The generation of people born to at least one Yonsei parent[12]

The Issei, Nisei and Sansei generations reflect distinctly different attitudes to authority, gender, non-Japanese involvement, and religious practice, and other matters.[13]

Select list of notable Sansei[change | change source]

This list is not finished; you can help Wikipedia by adding to it.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. The generation names come from the numbers "one, two, three" in the Japanese language. The first three Japanese numbers are "ichi, ni, san. The fourth number is "yon".
  2. Numrich, Paul David. (2008). North American Buddhists in Social Context, p. 110.
  3. Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Japan-Mexico Foreign Relations; retrieved 2012-11-25.
  4. MOFA, "Japan-Brazil Relations"; retrieved 2012-11-25.
  5. Sakata, Yasuo. (1992). Fading Footsteps of the Issei, p. 1.
  6. 6.0 6.1 McLellan, Janet. (1999). Many Petals of the Lotus: Five Asian Buddhist Communities in Toronto, p. 36.
  7. "Fujimori Secures Japanese Haven," BBCNews, 12 December 2000; retrieved 2012-11-25.
  8. Japanese American National Museum, "What is Nikkei?" Archived 2009-05-03 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 2012-11-25.
  9. Smithsonian, "The Art of Gaman: Arts and Crafts from the Japanese American Internment Camps, 1942 - 1946", Yoshitsuchi Ikemoto Archived 2013-02-25 at the Wayback Machine; excerpt, "... one of hundreds of Issei (first-generation) 'bachelor' laborers who were unable to send for their wives or a picture bride because the U.S. government cut off all immigration from Japan in 1924"; retrieved 2012-11-25.
  10. Yenne, Bill. (2007). Rising Sons: The Japanese American GIs Who Fought for the United States in World War II, p. xv.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 "Issei" Densho Encyclopedia; retrieved 2012-11-25.
  12. Ikezoe-Halevi, Jean. "Voices of Chicago: Day of Remembrance 2006," Discover Nikkei (US). October 31, 2006; retrieved 2012-11-25.
  13. McLellan, p. 59.
  14. Romero, Simon. "A Second Fujimori Contends for Peru’s Presidency," New York Times. May 27, 2011; retrieved 2012-12-2.
  15. US Congress, "Honda, Mike (1941- )"; "Mike Honda, California 15th District" Archived 2007-07-12 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 2012-12-2.
  16. "Lawson Fusao Inada (1938- )," Archived 2012-11-21 at the Wayback Machine Oregon Encyclopedia; retrieved 2012-12-2.
  17. US Army Center of Military History, "Medal of Honor Recipients, Vietnam (A-L)"; retrieved 2012-12-13.
  18. US Congress, "Matsui, Doris Okada (1944- )"; "Doris Matsui, California 5th District"; retrieved 2012-12-2.
  19. US Congress, "Matsui, Robert Takeo (1941-2005)"; retrieved 2012-12-2.
  20. US Congress, "Mink, Patsy Takemoto, (1927-2002); retrieved 2012-12-2.
  21. Asakawa, Gil. (2012). Being Japanese American, p. 79.
  22. Parliament of Canada, "Oda, The Hon. Bev, P.C., B.A." Archived 2012-09-28 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 2012-12-2.
  23. Spickard, Paul R. (2009). Japanese Americans: The Formation and Transformations of an Ethnic Group, pp. 155-156.
  24. "The Rising Tied CD Reviews" at citing The Straits Times (Singapore); excertp, "...personal labour of love for the sansei (third-generation Japanese American) whose father was interned during World War II"; retrieved 2012-12-4.
  25. US Dept of Veterans Affairs, "Eric K. Shinseki" Archived 2010-01-05 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 2012-12-2.
  26. Grimes, William. "Ronald Takaki, a Scholar on Ethnicity, Dies at 70," New York Times. May 30, 2009; "In Depth: Ronald Takaki," C-SPAN/BookTV (US). 1 March 2009; retrieved 2012-12-2.
  27. Goad, Ben. "Congress District 41: Takano beats Tavaglione in nationally watched race," Archived 2012-11-10 at the Wayback Machine Press-Enterprise(Riverside, California). November 6, 2012; retrieved 2012-12-2.
  28. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), "Daniel M. Tani, NASA Astronaut"; Seigel, Shizue. "Dan Tani: NASA’s Newest Japanese American Astronaut," Nikkei Heritage (US). Vol. XI, No. 4, Fall 1999; retrieved 2011-05-17
  29. Legislative Assembly of Ontario (Canada), "David H. Tsubouchi, MPP"; retrieved 2012-12-2.
  30. US Army Center of Military History, "Medal of Honor Recipients, Vietnam (M-Z)"; "Big Island Salute," Rafu Shimpo (Los Angeles). July 12 2012; retrieved 2012-12-11.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Internment of Japanese-Canadians at Wikimedia Commons Media related to Japanese American internment at Wikimedia Commons