From the Back Cover
When second-generation Japanese-Brazilians emigrate to Japan to assume the manual work its citizens no longer want, their need for cultural belonging, along with their homesickness for the food, culture, and language they left behind is exacerbated by Japan’s reverence for all things "purely Japanese." This stunning book of hybrids merges fiction, essay, and pop culture collage to illustrate a global society that resists heritage-by-hyphenation and opens the door onto important issues of the new century: labor, nationalism, and cultural appropriation.
In the short stories, we meet Miss Hamamatsu‘96 - a Euro-Asian beauty who covets the Miss Nikkei pageant crown, conwoman Marie Madalena and her ad scams and phone sex business, Z? Marias as he is embroiled in a debacle with a sinister employment agency, and other unique characters who are somehow enmeshed in a Brazilian Japanese employment scam and its unsolved, deadly outcome.
Interspersed between these tales are Yamashita’s personal essays that detail the Asian-American author’s travels to Japan with her Brazilian husband and family- a time spent straddling the fence between boisterous Brazilian customs and conservative Japanese tradition.