LA Business
 LA History
 LA Literature
collections | instruction & training | electronic resources | internet resources | finding aids | exchanges

Asians in Latin America: Guide to Resources


This research guide is designed as a starting point to aid students and researchers in locating information on Asians in Latin America and the Caribbean at the FIU Libraries. It is not exhaustive, however. Rather, this guide is representative of many of the resources available in the FIU Libraries.

For research papers, reports, or reviews requiring critical examination of people(s), historical events, or themes on the Asian Diaspora to Latin America and the Caribbean consult the following:

  1. Introduction
  2. Reference Books
  3. General Collection Books
  4. Government Documents
  5. Audio-visual Materials
  6. Articles
  7. Electronic Databases
  8. Internet Resources

I. Introduction

Peoples from ancient Asia crossed the Bering land bridge connecting Asia and Alaska sometime between 30,000 and 10,000 years ago, at the end of the last major Ice Age. They were the first members of the species Homo Sapiens Sapiens to settle in the New World. Over the course of millennia, their descendants occupied just about every geographical and ecological niche in the Americas, from the Inuit of Alaska to the Ona of Tierra del Fuego.

Moreover, modern Asian immigration to the Americas dates to the sixteenth century. In the 1500s, Asians participated in the Manila Galleon trade with Spain and Portugal. Over the next several centuries, thousands of Chinese, Japanese, East Indians, and other peoples from across Asia would leave their ancestral homes and make their way to Latin America and the Caribbean. They settled in and around large cities, thriving with commerce. Brazil, Cuba, Jamaica, Peru, and other New World nations received these immigrants. While known for their entrepreneurial skills as merchants, Asian immigrants also constituted an important part of the labor force, especially in the circum-Caribbean. So-called indentured "Coolies" worked on building the railroads and canals, including the Panama Canal. Their labor was essential to the development of the region's economy.

Asian peoples from China, Japan, and elsewhere have continued arriving in the Americas throughout the twentieth century, augmenting earlier waves of immigration. For instance, Brazil received thousands of Japanese immigrants in the 20th century. Their descendants represent the largest community of Japanese outside of Japan and Hawaii. The economic, political, and social importance of Asians in the region is clear, as evidenced by the rise to power of Alberto Fujimori, the son of Japanese immigrants, who was elected President of Peru in 1990. In addition, these nationalized citizens of the Americas serve as valuable conduits with their Asian cousins, facilitating the process of cultural and commercial exchanges between their adopted and ancestral nations. While a relatively new phenomenon is taking place whereby some Asian-Latin Americans are returning home, many stay in places such as Havana or Lima. Today, Asians in Latin America are more visible politically, socially, and culturally than at any time in the past. A rich and diverse bibliography on the Asian Diaspora to the Americas testifies to the importance of Chinese, Japanese, East Indians, and others throughout the New World.

(Table of contents)

II. Reference Books

  • Asians in Latin America: A Partially Annotated Bibliography of Select Countries and People / Contains 1,000 titles on Chinese, East Indians, Japanese, and other Asian peoples in the Americas. Over 300 works are annotated. Organized alphabetically by country and/or region and then by ethnic group within each section. UP REF Z1609.A84C46 2000.

  • Asians in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Bibliography / Includes 149 pages of unannotated sources on Asians in Latin America and the Caribbean. Works are arranged alphabetically according to country, and within each country alphabetically by national group. UP REF F1419.A84L46 1990.

  • Latin America and Japan: A Bibliography / Brief and dated bibliography on the Japanese Diaspora to the New World. Includes works on Japanese-Latin American relations. UP REF F1416.J3C34 1975.

(Table of contents)

III. General Collection Books

(Asians in Brazil)

  • A presença japonesa no Brasil / Saito, Hiroshi. Covers the history of Japanese immigration to Brazil before, during, and after WWII and the role of Japanese-Brazilians in their adopted societies. Searches for the origin of the image of Japanese immigrants to Brazil as successful and hard-working. UP GEN COLL F2659.J3P73.

  • As religiôes japonesas no Brasil / Ozaki, André M. Brief but useful survey of traditional Japanese religions in Brazil and their adaptation to a foreign society. Concentrates on the 20th century. UP GEN COLL BL 2590.B7O93 1990.

  • Assimilaçâo e integraçâo dos japoneses no Brasil / Saito, Hiroshi and Takashi Maeyama. Analyzes the cultural and biological assimilation of Japanese immigrants to Brazil in the 20th century from a sociological perspective. UP GEN COLL F2659.J3S27

  • Japanese Postwar Migration to Brazil: An Analysis of Data Presently Available / Sims, Harold. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of post-WW II Japanese migration to Brazil and their presence in Brazilian society. Includes bibliographical references. Reprinted from International Migration Review, v. 6, no. 3 (Fall 1972):246-266. UP GEN COLL F2659.J3S56 1973.

(Asians in Caribbean)

  • Across the Dark Waters: Ethnicity and Indian Identity in the Caribbean / Dabydeen, David and Brinsley Samaroo. Discussion of East Indians in the Caribbean and the formation of ethnic identity. UP GEN COLL F1629.E17A28 1996.

  • Arising from Bondage: A History of the Indo-Caribbean People / Ramdin, Ron. Studies the history of East Indians in the Caribbean. Focuses on Indo-Caribbean indentured labor, social conditions, and ethnic relations. UP GEN COLL F2191.E27R36 2000

  • Caribbean Asians: Chinese, Indian, and Japanese Experiences in Trinidad and the Dominican Republic / Sanjek, Roger. Compilation of essays on the Asian Diaspora to Trinidad and Tobago and the Dominican Republic, focusing on labor, culture, social conditions, and ethnic identity. Contents include Chinese indentured labor migrations to the British West Indies in the Nineteenth Century / Creolization of the Chinese in Guyana, Trinidad and Jamaica / Ethnic participation in the 1970 black power movement in Trinidad : the case of the East Indians / The remigration of Trinidad East Indians / Japanese settlement in the Dominican Republic : an intercultural exchange /Conceptualizing Caribbean Asians : race, acculturation, creolization. UP GEN COLL E184.O6A843 1991

  • Centenary History of the East Indians in British Guiana: 1838-1938 / Ruhomon, Peter. Comprehensive survey of 100 years of East Indians immigration to and impact on the colony of British Guiana. Originally published in Georgetown, British Guiana's Daily Chronicle, 1947. UP GEN COLL F2391.E2R8 1988.

  • Matikor: The Politics of Identity for Indo-Caribbean Women / Kanhai, Rosanne. Focuses on East Indian women in the Caribbean and their ethnic identification and formation. Covers religion, gender roles, social life, and economic conditions. UP GEN COLL HQ1501.M375 1999.

  • A Question of Labour: Indentured Immigration into Trinidad and British Guiana, 1875-1917 / Laurence, K. O. History of contract East Indian labor in Trinidad and British Guiana at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. UP GEN COLL HD4875.T7L38 1994.

(Asians in Cuba)

  • Los chinos de Cuba: Apuntes etnográficos / Baltar Rodríguez, José. Devoted to different Chinese immigrants arriving in Cuba. Also covers Chinese holidays, societies, and art (especially opera) on the island. UP GEN COLL F1789.C53B35 1997.

  • Los chinos en la historia de Cuba, 1847-1930 / Jiménez Pastrana, Juan. Surveys Chinese history in Cuba, including their role in the independence efforts in the 19th century. Rev. ed. of Los chinos en las luchas por la liberación cubana, 1847-1930, 1963. UP GEN COLL F1789.C53J5 1983.

  • Coreanos en Cuba / Ruiz, Raúl R. Explores little-known immigration of Koreans to Cuba and their history. UP GEN COLL Temporary Control # AEW0153.

  • La colonia china en Cuba 1930-1960: Antecedentes, memorias y vivencias / Seuc, Napoleón. Oral history and biography of Chinese immigrants to Cuba and the Cuban-Chinese on the island in the 20th century. UP GEN COLL F1789.C53S48 1998.

  • The Introduction of Chinese Laborers to Latin America: The "Coolie Trade," 1847-1874 / Meagher, Arnold J. Dissertation on Chinese "Coolies" imported to Latin America, including Cuba, in the mid 19th century. UP GEN COLL F1419.C5M4 1975a

(Asians in Peru)

  • The Japanese in South America: An Introductory Survey with Special Reference to Peru / Normano, Joâo F. and Antonello Gerbi. Survey of Japanese migration to South America, especially Peru, in the 20th century. UP GEN COLL F2239.J3N6 1978.

  • Pasado y presente de la comunidad japonesa en el Perú / Lausent, Isabelle. Summarizes Japanese-Peruvian relations from the signing of the 1873 peace treaty to the presidency of Alberto Fujimori. Concentrates on commerce between Japan and Peru and Japanese immigration to the South American nation. Gives special attention to the "difficult relations" during WW II. UP GEN COLL Temporary Control # AEV5293.

  • Pawns in a Triangle of Hate: The Peruvian Japanese and the United States / Gardiner, C. Harvey. History of Japanese in Peru and the US in the 20th century. Concentrates on Japanese deportations and their internment in concentration camps during WW II. UP GEN COLL D769.8.A6G37.

For additional sources on the Asian Diaspora to Latin America and the Caribbean, consult the FIU Library Catalog. Do a subject search using Asians, Chinese, Japanese, or East Indians and Latin America, Brazil, Caribbean, Cuba, Jamaica, or Peru, etc. For example: Chinese -- Cuba -- History or Brazil -- Japanese -- Immigration. Try keyword searches using words such as Asians OR Chinese AND History OR Culture.

(Table of contents)

IV. Government Documents

  • Red Chinese Infiltration into Latin America: Hearings before the U. S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary / 89th Congress, 1st Session. Congressional hearings on Communist China's foreign relations with Latin America. Indexed in CIS US Congressional Committee Hearings Index Part VIII. Record is based on bibliographic data in CIS US Congressional Committee Hearings Index. UP GOV DOCS Microfiche CIS Hrgs MF Gp3-(89) S1697-4.

(Table of contents)

V. Audio-visual Materials

  • Ancestors. Gathering Family Stories. Episode 3 / KBYU Television [VHS]. Includes suggestions for interviewing living relatives. Guests include Fabiana Chiu, a recent immigrant to the U.S. with Chinese and Peruvian parents who interviewed her relatives in Peru to discover traditions and links to her heritage of which she was never aware.

  • Portrait of the Caribbean. Worlds Apart. Program 5 / BBC and Turner Broadcasting System. Discusses how East Indians are the largest single population in Guyana and Trinidad. Shows the influence of their strong cultural identity. UP A/V F2169.P67 1992 v.5-7.

(Table of contents)

VI. Articles (1985-2000)

(Asians in the Americas)

  • "Articulación interétnica en medio urbano: judíos y coreanos en Buenos Aires" / Bialogorski, Mirta and Daniel Bergman. Estudios Migratorios Latinoamericanos, 11, 32 (April 1996):111-133. Treats Korean immigration to Buenos Aires beginning in the 1960s. Provides anthropological perspective comparing Korean immigration to other immigrant groups. Also examines Korean ethnic networks, stereotypes, and prejudice. UP PER JV7398 .E8

  • "El caso de los nikkeis dekaseguis brasileños, peruanos, argentinos, bolivianos y paraguayos en Japón" / Tajima, Hisatoshi. Estudios Migratorios Latinoamericanos 10, no. 30 (Aug. 1995):409-429. Studies Japanese re-migrants, known as dekaseguis, from South America and their return and re-adaptation to their native country. UP PER JV7398 .E8

  • "The Chinese and the New Economic Development of Northern Baja California, 1889-1929." / Duncan, Robert H. Hispanic American Historical Review, 74, 4 (Nov. 1994):615-647. Examines the social and economic integration of Chinese migrants in Mexico's Baja California region. Discusses the history of the Chinese in the Imperial and Mexicali valleys and their role in labor, politics, and commerce. UP PER F1401 .H66

  • "The Chinese in Costa Rica, 1855-1897." / Huesmann, James L. Historian, 53, 4 (1991):711-720 Treats Chinese "Coolies" imported into Costa Rica to work on the railroads. Especially concerned with social aspects of Chinese immigration to Costa Rica. UP PER D1 .H22.

  • "La colectividad japonesa en la Argentina." / Maletta, Héctor and Silvia Lepore. Estudios Migratorios Latinoamericanos, nos.15-16 (1990):425-520. Surveys census and other data on the Japanese community of Argentina. Provides a comprehensive picture of the Japanese in Argentina, including their development, demographics, and degree of acculturation. UP PER JV7398 .E8.

  • "Mexico y los emigrantes japoneses" / Yanaguida, Toshio and Taeko Akagui. Estudios Migratorios Latinoamericanos, 10, 30 (Aug. 1995):373-401. Discusses failed efforts to recruit Japanese to work in Mexico's coffee industry. Concludes that Mexico was a stepping stone for Japanese immigrants on their way to the US. Analyzes the contemporary Japanese community in Mexico. UP PER JV7398 .E8.

  • "Mortality on Chinese and Indian Voyages to the West Indies and South America, 1847-1874" / McDonald, John and Ralph Shlomowitz. Social and Economic Studies, 41, 2 (June 1992):203-240. Quantitative and demographic study of Chinese and East Indian immigrants in the Caribbean and South America during the mid 19th century. Studies death rates aboard ships bringing Asians into the New World. UP PER HN244 .S6.

(Asians in Brazil)

  • "La inmigración japonesa en el Brasil: una historia de ascenso social" / Sakurai, Célia. Estudios Migratorios Latinoamericanos, 10, 29 (April 1995) 149-168. Searches for the origins of the image of Japanese in Brazil as hard-working and successful. Concentrates on the decade 1928-1937 and on Japanese in Sâo Paulo. Also discusses Japanese re-migrants or dekaseguis. UP PER JV7398 .E8.

  • "Japanese Brazilian Style" / Page, Joseph A. Americas, 46, 1 (Jan.-Feb. 1994):34-41 Explains the differences between first-generation Japanese-Brazilians and subsequent generations in their acceptance, achievement, and assimilation. Looks at Brazilian-Japanese film Gaijin. UP PER F1401 .A573.

  • "The Motivation to Migrate: The Ethnic and Sociocultural Constitution of the Japanese-Brazilian Return-Migration System" / Tsuda, Takeyuki. Economic Development and Cultural Change, 48, 1 (Oct. 1999):1-31. Study concludes that Japanese-Brazilians assert a Japanese identity and maintain a minority status in Brazil. UP PER HC10 .C453.

  • "Ochenta años de inmigración japonesa en el Brasil" / Mita, Chiyoko Estudios Migratorios Latinoamericanos, 10, 30 (Aug. 1994):431-452. Studies eighty years of Japanese immigration to Brazil, especially Sâo Paulo. Looks at Japanese migration before, during, and after WW II. Also discusses commercial and economic ties between Brazil and Japan and return Brazilian-Japanese migration to Japan. UP PER JV7398 .E8.

  • "Stages in the Historical Process of Ethnicity: The Japanese in Brazil, 1908-1988" / Reichl, Christopher A. Ethnohistory, 42, 1 (Winter 1995):31-62 Asserts that Japanese ethnic identification in Brazil has evolved over time. Considers the general isolation of the Japanese in Brazil a major factor in their ethnic identity and solidarity. UP PER E51 .E8

(Asians in the Caribbean)

  • "Conflict and Collaboration: Tradition and Modernizing Indo-Trinidadian Elites, 1917-1956." / Singh, Kelvin. Caribbean Studies, 70, 3-4 (1996):229-253. Analyzes conflicting attitudes among elite East Indians in Trinidad in the first half of the 20th century. Examines resistance versus accommodation strategies of East Indian immigrants. UP PER F2161 .C29.

  • "La inmigración china en el Caribe" / Hiu, Juan H. Cuadernos Americanos, 58 (July-Aug. 1996):193-216 General survey of Chinese or "Coolie" immigration to the Caribbean, especially Cuba. UP PER AP63 .C669.

  • "Indian Women and Indentureship in Trinidad and Tobago, 1845-1917" / Reddock, Rhoda. Caribbean Quarterly, 32, 3-4 (1986):27-49. Explores the contract labor of East Indian women on the island nation from the mid 19th to the start of the 20th centuries. Considers the labor and social conditions of female indentured laborers. UP PER F1601 .C3.

(Asians in Peru)

  • "Chinese Plantation Workers and Social Conflict in the Late 19th Century" / González, Michael J. Journal of Latin American Studies, 21 (Oct. 1989):385-424. Discusses different aspects of the recruitment, labor, and reaction of "Coolies" in late 19th century Peru. Based on the records of the Palto cotton plantation and the 1887 China Commission Report. UP PER F1401 .J69.

  • "La presencia japonesa en el eje Huánuco-Pucallapa entre 1918 y 1982" / Lausent, Isabelle. Revista Geográfica, no. 107 (Jan.-June 1988):93-117. Studies Japanese government plans to colonize the Huánaco-Pacallapa region and the roles of Japanese and Brazilian businessmen and politicians in the effort. Mostly covers diplomatic and economic activities in the region during the early 1900s. UP PER TEMPORARY CONTROL # AEU3093.

  • "Transnational Community and its Ethnic Consequences: The Return Migration and the Transformation of Ethnicity of Japanese Peruvians" / Takenaka, Ayumi. American Behavioral Scientist, 42, 9 (June-July 1999):459. Investigates the consequences of transnational community formation among the Japanese in Peru, Japan, and the US. Article examines the immigrants' communities and ethnic identification, concluding that such identities can hinder immigrant assimilation. UP PER H1 .A472.

(Table of contents)

VII. Electronic Databases

Academic Universe
 via Universe

Provides access to local, state, national, and international news, as well as business news and country profiles


Access UN
 via Newsbank Info Web

Indexes United Nations documents and publications.


Anthropological Literature
 via RLG/Eureka

Indexes 1000+ scholarly journals in anthropology and archaeology


Arts & Humanities Search
 via FirstSearch

Indexes 1100+ multidisciplinary scholarly journals and other publications in the arts and humanities, with cited references.


ATLA Religion Database
 via Cambridge Scientific Abstracts

Indexes 650+ scholarly journals in religious studies.


Global Newsbank
 via Newsbank Info Web

Articles from hundreds of international news sources.


HLAS (Handbook of Latin American Studies)
 via Library of Congress
 via RLG/Eureka

Indexes 400+ scholarly journals on US-Hispanic and Latin American topics.


HAPI (Hispanic American Periodicals Index)

Indexes publications on all aspects of Latin American studies.


Historical Abstracts
 via ABC-Clio

Indexes 2000+ scholarly journals in history from 1450 to the present. (Excludes the United States and Canada.)


Humanities Abstracts
 via FirstSearch

Indexes 300+ scholarly journals and popular magazines in the humanities.


PAIS International (Public Affairs Information Service)
 via FirstSearch

Indexes 2000+ international scholarly journals, government and other publications on current events in the political and social sciences.


SIRS Researcher
 via FirstSearch

Indexes multidisciplinary scholarly journals, popular magazines, newspapers and government publications for articles on social, historic, economic, political, and global issues.


Social Science Abstracts
 via First Search

Indexes 350+ international scholarly journals and popular magazines in the social sciences.


Socio Abs
 via First Search

Indexes 250+ publications in sociology and related disciplines.


Sociological Abstracts
 via Cambridge Scientific Abstracts

Indexes 2600+ publications in sociology and related disciplines


Statistical Universe
 via Universe

Indexes statistical data from U.S. government, international, professional, and other organizations.


World Cat
 via FirstSearch

Catalog holdings for thousands of international libraries.


(Table of contents)

VIII. Internet Resources

(Asians in the Americas)

(Asians in Brazil)

  • Aliança Cultural Brasil-Japâo / Japanese-Brazilian culture. Offers information on Japanese language, history and culture.

  • Associaçâo Nikkei de Niterói / Provides links to Japanese-Brazilian culture, language, history, cuisine, and more. Includes photographs and other audio-visual elements.

  • Museu Nacional Japones Americano / Museum dedicated to Japanese and their descendants in the Americas.

  • Net Japâo / Information on Japan in Portuguese for Brazilians. Includes links to Japanese culture, government and politics, and economics and commerce.

  • Zen Buddhism in Brazil / Provides useful information on Zen Buddhism and its practice in Brazil.

(Asians in the Caribbean)

(Asians in Peru)

  • Asociación Peruano Japonesa / Japanese-Peruvians and their culture. Includes links on Japanese immigration to Peru.

  • Cegecoop "La Unión" / Similar to the above web site. Provides a history of the Japanese in Peru and information on Japanese-Peruvian cultural activities.

  • Japanese-Peruvians in Miami / Research by a Master's student in International Education at FIU about Japanese Peruvians living in Miami, FL.

(Table of contents)

Library Home    |    FIU Home    |    Latin American and Caribbean Center Home
Copyright © 2000-2002 Florida International University
Last updated: January 7, 2003