This study investigates African American women’s experiences in Japan as it pertains to the changing perceptions and utilizations of blackness. Through a look at historical constructions of blackness in Japan, contemporary popular culture, and through in-depth interviews with African American women about their experiences with their own identities as black women in Japan, it is revealed that blackness is continuously changing to fit the social and political agendas of each era and that there is a disconnect between American and Japanese conceptualizations of blackness. Blackness in contemporary Japan can be understood to be constructed in two ways: (1) to satisfy the social and political agenda of the time and (2) around African American perceptions of blackness.


McConnell, David


East Asian Studies


Japanese Studies


The College of Wooster, Senior IS, blackness, contemporary, African American, women’s experiences, Japan, popular culture

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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