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Enfolding SilenceThe Transformation of Japanese American Religion and Art under Oppression$
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Brett J. Esaki

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190251420

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190251420.001.0001

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“Whiz Kids”?

“Whiz Kids”?

Racial Shamelessness, the Model Minority, and the Future of Silence

(p.207) Epilogue “Whiz Kids”?
Enfolding Silence

Brett J. Esaki

Oxford University Press

The epilogue summarizes the previous chapters by linking the histories and silences to future potentials of non-binary silence for Japanese Americans. One aspect not explored in previous chapters but that may be in the future of silence is humor. Masi Oka, a Japanese American comedian and actor, embodies this potential as a shin-nisei or “new second-generation Japanese American.” Once mistakenly depicted as a “whiz kid” to the American public, he uses the silence of humor to negotiate the model minority myth and demonstrates a kind of racial shamelessness. This balances the Introduction's concern with racial shame and provides an opening to the binaries of racial shame and racial shamelessness, uplift and oppression, justice and injustice.

Keywords:   silence, Japanese Americans, humor, shin-nisei, model minority myth, racial shame, Masi Oka

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