Date of Award


Thesis Date


Degree Type

Honors Thesis-Unrestricted

Degree Name



Anthropology and Sociology

Degree Program



D. Ryan Gray


This study documents the attitudes and perspectives toward Japanese language education of seven “newly-arrived” Japanese immigrants, jp. Shin-issei, who are raising bilingual or multilingual children in New Orleans, Louisiana. The participants of this study consisted of six mothers and one father who speak Japanese to their children at home and act as teachers of this language at the Japanese Weekend School of New Orleans, jp. Nyū Orinzu Nihongo Hoshūkō, a supplementary language school. Grounded in ethnographic fieldwork and interviews, this thesis has two interrelated objectives: One is to analyze parents’ attitudes toward Japanese language maintenance and show that although the home remains the crucial site for language education, the Japanese School of New Orleans represents a relevant site for the maintenance of the Japanese language and the indoctrination of Japanese cultural values. The second is to explore how these parents connect the process of teaching at and attending the school to a sentiment of diasporic nationalism. This study calls for a renewed ethnographic focus on often ignored —or known by few— immigrant communities in Louisiana by recognizing the presence of Japanese immigrants in this area, their constant efforts to maintain ties and connections to their home country, and their motivations to do so.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this honors thesis in whole or part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the honors thesis.

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