Japanese American (Religious) Gardening and Transnational Desires
Brett Esaki,University of California, Santa Barbara: email@example.com
Japanese Americans have been foundational to Asian American studies without transnationalism. However, inrecent scholarship, Japanese Americans have been examined as transnationals, rounding out the understanding of Japanese Americans. To this scholarship, I would like to add two desires that complicate Japanese Americans’ sense thatthey are transnationals: the desire to be authentically connected to Japan and Whites’ desire for their Japanese American gardeners to be authentically connected to Japan.
By examining the purchase,creation, and patronage of Japanese-style gardens in general and the Japanese-style garden at the Buddhist Church of Santa Barbara in particular, the identity of Japanese Americans will be complicated. Namely, Japanese American Buddhists adopt the construct of “global citizens” practicing “universal compassion” yet in labor intensive connections to confined garden spaces.