First Advisor

Suwako Watanabe

Date of Publication


Document Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Japanese


World Languages and Literatures




Japanese Americans -- Oregon -- Portland -- Ethnic identity, Japanese Americans -- Education -- Oregon --Portland, Japanese schools -- Oregon -- Portland, Native language and education, Japanese Americans -- Education, Heritage language speakers



Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 95 p.)


The Portland Japanese School (hoshuukoo) was established as a supplementary Saturday school by a Japanese business group of Portland (Shokookai). The mission of this school is to provide Japanese education to Japanese students who eventually go back to Japan and continue to study in the Japanese school system. My previous project found that Japanese parents, who are long term U.S. residents, want to send their children to the Portland hoshuukoo for the purpose of giving a heritage Japanese education. Utilizing a case study qualitative approach, the current study administered a questionnaire to heritage Japanese students and interviewed them, their parents, the school administrator, and teachers to shed light on their perceptual differences in expectations towards hoshuukoo. The data collected through the questionnaire and interview found that while the school maintains the original mission that hoshuukoo is to provide Japanese national education to those who will go back to Japan and continue to study in the Japanese schooling, the parents of heritage Japanese students expect that their children learn the Japanese language and culture and become "Japanese-like" person who acquires "Japanese-ness" from the education and experiences at the Portland hoshuukoo. It was also found that the teachers are aware of the gaps between the heritage Japanese students' needs for Japanese as a heritage language instruction and the school's mission but they have not been able to fulfill the student needs and expectations due to the absolute mission of the school and lack of time and resources. While there is the teacher's dilemma towards education to the heritage Japanese students, Portland hoshuukoo still carries a role as a place able to provide a heritage Japanese education with some conditions: which require heritage Japanese students tremendous effort and require their parents great support for their children. Considering that the heritage Japanese students at the Portland hoshuukoo may increase in future, this study suggests that now is the time to rethink or revise the school's mission to fulfill expectations and needs of students and parents at Portland hoshuukoo.


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