Posted by Amy Obermeyer, doctoral student in Comparative Literature at NYU
My time in the archives at the Biblioteca Nacional de Perú , like most archival work was filled with its shares of disappointment big and small—of missing materials and dead-end leads, of bad ideas and boring ones—alongside the daily monotony of combing through ancient periodicals and government documents, finding largely the useful, but expected and the unsurprising.
Yet there was also the occasional serendipitous encounter. I’d like to make use of this, my last dispatch from Lima, to describe one such event.
Posted by Amy Obermeyer, doctoral student in Comparative Literature
On May 13, 1940, a series of anti-Japanese riots took place in Lima. The tumult continued for days. Despite massive violence and unrest, police took no action to quell the tension; ten were dead, damages totaling $6 million were reported, affecting in total 620 households, and 316 individuals repatriated to Japan as a result (Riger Tsurumi 20; Higashide 110). Given the timeline, this is perhaps not entirely surprising; as a result Japanese aggression in the Asia-Pacific War, as well as rising tensions during World War II broadly, anti-Japanese sentiment was smoldering all over the Americas and beyond. Continue reading