This essay examines a wartime experience of Japanese Americans (Nisei) in Japan, proposing to view them as US–originated immigrants abroad. Several thousand Nisei resided in their ancestral land at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and many struggled with negative public perceptions associated with their enemy birthland as well as pressures to be assimilated into their racial home. Based on the belief in blood ties, the official demands for these Nisei included not only the prioritizing of racial belonging over birthright citizenship but also their total commitment to Japan's anti-American war. Through an analysis of rarely consulted primary sources, this essay first explains these Nisei's efforts at double ethnicization: safeguarding an identity as a US–reared subgroup of Japan's imperial subjects while distinguishing them from their compatriots stateside. Their wartime history also entailed incorporation into Japan's psychological warfare, but resident Nisei managed to exploit their cultural attributes rooted in American upbringing—“special talents” that were deemed invaluable for anti–US propaganda. While working as radio announcers and scriptwriters, many Nisei authored numerous materials about racist America based on their pre-migration experience as a persecuted US minority. Only by serving as messengers and producers of race propaganda knowledge could they legitimately remain “Nisei,” or Japanese of US background, in the land that abhorred things American. This transnational story of wartime Nisei formed a grossly understudied aspect of American (im)migration and ethnic history—one that seldom views native-born US citizens as immigrants or an ethnic group in a foreign land.

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