The Global Studies Seminar presents Grace Han ‘24, Lauren Dempsey ‘25, Evan Snively ‘24, and Taku Suzuki.

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The Global Studies Seminar presents “Struggles among migrants and asylum seekers in Japan: Reflections on ASIANetwork Student-Faculty Fellowship” by Grace Han ‘24, Lauren Dempsey ‘25, Evan Snively ‘24, and Denison University Professor Taku Suzuki. 

Funded by the ASIANetwork Student-Faculty Fellowship, a joint group of six students and two faculty members from Kenyon College and Denison University traveled to Japan in May-June 2023 to learn about different living experiences among foreign residents with different legal statuses. By conducting interviews with labor migrants, asylum seekers, detained migrants, and technical trainees and asking questions about what caused someone to immigrate to Japan, their current legal status, and any struggles they have faced as a migrant living in Japan, we learned the country’s harsh immigration laws that uphold strict barriers to legal resident status. We compiled the video recordings of the interviews and other footage to create a documentary visual story, which we would like to screen at the seminar. Following the screening, we will present our findings from the field research and share our personal reflections on what we learned from the fellowship. 

Han is a senior Global Health major from Pittsburgh, PA, Dempsey is a junior East Asian Studies major from Cleveland, OH, and Snively is a senior Cinema major from Raleigh, NC. Suzuki is professor of International Studies, Global Health, and East Asian Studies, who is completing an ethnographic monograph on rejected asylum seekers’ daily survival tactics in Japan.

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