Creating a Community

Brazil-Maru by Karen Tei Yamashita

An excellent novel discussing the Japanese emigration experience in Brazil.  An idealistic community cultivated by the bold and passionate Kantaro endures successes and failures until it reaches its ultimate demise.  Themes include the cost of maintaining such a lifestyle and the nature of education for the “Emiles” of the community.  Ultimately, exclusivity does not lead to success, though the end of the novel suggests that assimilation will inevitably the most enduring way of life.

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