How Language Use Indicates Acculturation and Enculturation Processes of Native Japanese and Japanese Americans: Examples from the 1946 Issues of Hokubei Hochi
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My research examines literature on immigrant adaptation processes, and how language use in the 1946 Hokubei Hochi, Japanese immigrant newspaper in Seattle, indicates the dialogue of acculturation and enculturation in the Japanese American community and in Japan. I analyzed four issues from the 1946 Hokubei Hochi newspaper because this time frame corresponded with when the Language Reform Policy was implemented in Japan. The policy led to the simplification and reduction of commonly used Kanji characters. This resulted in eliminating the slight nuances of the Japanese language. This paper demonstrates language as an indicator of (1) acculturation or adaptation to the host culture, and/or (2) enculturation or maintaining of ties to their heritage culture. My findings elucidate the tensions between acculturation and enculturation processes. It highlights that adaptation is not a unilinear process but is time and value-laden that requires a holistic perspective to understand.