A Virtual Chinatown

The Diasporic Mediasphere of Chinese Migrants in New Zealand


Phoebe H. Li

What role does diasporic Chinese media play in the process of Chinese migrants' adaptation to their new home country? With China's rise, to what extent has the expansion of its "soft power" swayed the changing identities of the Chinese overseas? A Virtual Chinatown provides a timely and original analysis to answer such questions.

Using a media and communication studies approach to investigate the reciprocal relationship between Chinese-language media and the Chinese migrant community in New Zealand, Phoebe Li goes beyond conventional scholarship on the Chinese Diaspora as practised by social historians, anthropologists and demographers. Written in an accessible and reader-friendly manner, this book will also appeal to academics and students with interests in other transnational communities, alternative media, and minority politics.

Kenneth J. Guest

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2011 DOI: 10.1163/179325411X565399 Also available online – brill.nl/jco Journal of Chinese Overseas 7 (2011) 24-44 brill.nl/jco From Mott Street to East Broadway: Fuzhounese Immigrants and the Revitalization of New York’s Chinatown Kenneth J. Guest Abstract Since

Chinatowns around the World

Gilded Ghetto, Ethnopolis, and Cultural Diaspora

Edited by Bernard P. Wong and Chee-Beng Tan

The phenomenon of “Chinatown” has been of great interest to the general public as well as scholars. Movies and story books have made Chinatown to be exotic, mysterious, gangster filled, and sometimes, a gilded ghetto, an ethnopolis, a cultural diaspora as well as a model community. The authors of Chinatowns around the World seek to expose the social reality of Chinatowns with empirical data. The authors also examine the changing nature and functions of Chinatowns around the world while scrutinizing how factors emanating from larger societies and other external factors have shaped Chinatown development and transformation. The activities of the recent Chinese transnational migrants are also critically appraised.

Eva Xiaoling Li and Peter S. Li

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2011 DOI: 10.1163/179325411X565380 Also available online – brill.nl/jco Journal of Chinese Overseas 7 (2011) 7-23 brill.nl/jco Vancouver Chinatown in Transition Peter S. Li and Eva Xiaoling Li Abstract Much has been written about Chinatowns in North America as a

Yamashita Kiyomi

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2011 DOI: 10.1163/179325411X565425 Also available online – brill.nl/jco Journal of Chinese Overseas 7 (2011) 114-129 brill.nl/jco Ikebukuro Chinatown in Tokyo: The First “New Chinatown” in Japan Yamashita Kiyomi Abstract This article seeks to clarify the

John Chuan-Tiong Lim (林 泉 忠)

Kumemura Village, or Kuninda, has been known as the community of Chinese immigrants with a more than five-hundred year background of scholar-bureaucrat aristocracy in Lewchew, or Ryukyu. They supposedly originated from a group of 36 families from the Southern Chinese Min (閩) ethnic group since 1392. Although much research has been conducted on the subject matter throughout the years, there is almost no scholar who would tackle it on the concept of a “Chinatown.” There are basically two reasons to account for such tendency in academics. Firstly, unlike most Chinese immigrant groups in other parts of the world, the 36 Min Families who had moved to Lewchew did not leave the country of their own accord, for neither private nor economic reasons, but in fact, were ordered by Emperor Hongwu to emigrate for political reasons. Furthermore, Kuninda-chu, the descendants of 36 Min Families, have almost, in the same way as other Okinawa people regard them over the years, never seen themselves as “overseas Chinese.”

However, this paper argues that there are still plenty of similarities between Kuninda-chu and other overseas Chinese in the world. The two main points for this paper are: firstly, Kuninda-chu relied excessively on the Chinese World Order and tributary system for its maintenance, so its survival rested primarily on the existence of this political structure, and was eventually disintegrated upon the collapse of the system. Secondly, Chinese culture was largely brought by Kuninda-chu to Ryukyu during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, but it is still kept alive and observed in Okinawa society to this day and in stark contrast with the Yamaonchu, the Japanese in the mainland of Japan, it directly helped shaping and forming the Okinawa people’s self-identity as Uchinan-chu.

Truly, Kuninda no longer exists in the Okinawa society today, but Kuninda-chu’s descendants have been upholding their unique ethic image through various traditional activities organized by different groups, Kume-Sosekai notwithstanding. Moreover, Kuninda-chu is also one of the earliest overseas Chinese groups who had assimilated successfully into the local Okinawa community. It is clear that Kuninda is one of the most paramount alternative cases for the studies of overseas Chinese.



儘管「久米村」已不復存在,然而擁有500年歷史的「久米村」留下了龐大有跡可尋的歷史紀錄,而「久米村人」的後裔至今仍透過許多聯誼組織,低調地繼續維繫著在琉球社會中獨特族群的形象,而「久米村人」也是歷史上華僑最早「落地生根」的族群之一,提供了華僑、華人研究不可多得的重要個案。 (This article is in Chinese.)

Denver’s Chinatown 1875-1900

Gone But Not Forgotten


Jingyi Song

Denver’s Chinatown 1875-1900: Gone But Not Forgotten explores the coming of the Chinese to the Western frontier and their experiences in Denver during its early development from a supply station for the mining camps to a flourishing urban center. The complexity of race, class, immigration, politics, and economic policies interacted dynamically and influenced the life of early Chinese settlers in Denver. The Denver Riot, as a consequence of political hostility and racial antagonism against the Chinese, transformed the life of Denver’s Chinese, eventually leading to the disappearance of Denver's Chinatown. But the memory of a neighbored that was part of the colorful and booming urban center remains.

Christine Chin-yu Chen (陳靜瑜)

I Introduction In the past, previous scholarship considered Chinatowns to be an early immigrant living pattern with fixed geographical areas and scopes of activities. Early immigrants lived within these districts and created the vibrant ethnic culture and economy characteristic of these

Christine Inglis

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2011 DOI: 10.1163/179325411X565407 Also available online – brill.nl/jco Journal of Chinese Overseas 7 (2011) 45-68 brill.nl/jco Chinatown Sydney: A Window on the Chinese Community Christine Inglis Abstract Chinatowns have long constituted one of the most visible

Ann Shu-ju Chiu

contemporary world. Kenneth Guest ( 2003 ) noted that the traditional Cantonese Chinatown since the 19th century had become predominantly occupied by a different Chinese speech group. He made a study of the physical settings, religious institutions and psychological voyage of the recent undocumented Fuzhou