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This public article was written by StrawberryMilk, and last updated on 22 Apr 2020, 19:37.
14. Marie Kang
15. Mikyoan English
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21. Women in Mikyo
meykyengan henkey ngay hankak
Elderly Chinese Mikyoans playing chess in
672,189, 11.75% of the total population (2019)
(Mixed Chinese not included)
Regions with Significant Populations
Mikyo (Primarily in Highly Urbanized Areas)
Mikyoan, English, Chinese Dialects
Confucianism, Buddhism, Irreligious, and Christianity
Chinese people have been present in Mikyo for more than 700 years, and the earliest recorded presence of Chinese people in Mikyo dates back to the 13th century with the presence of fishers from Southern China. Throughout Mikyoan history, migration from China has made up one of the driving forces of population growth and cultural and linguistic change. Today, a substantial amount of Mikyoan residents are Chinese foreign-born and even more claim to be wholly or partially Chinese.
The experiences of the Chinese community in Mikyo are diverse and by no means fully unified, as several different languages, family histories, occupations, and education levels make the Chinese Mikyoan community. Due to assimilation over time, some Chinese Mikyoans may not speak any Chinese Dialect due to a history of integration and intermarrying with ethnic Mikyoans, whereas other Chinese Mikyoans continue to speak Chinese Dialects and practice Chinese Folk Religion due to being recent immigrants or due to living in ethnic enclaves of Chinese Mikyoans, such as Chinatowns.
Chinese Mikyoans not only make up a large part of the Mikyoan population, but have also had a considerable impact on Mikyoan culture, society, and politics. Today Chinese Mikyoans are one of the most represented groups in Mikyoan politics and higher education.
The earliest known presence of Chinese people in Mikyo is of Han Chinese fishers from Southern China and Penghu in the 14th and 15th centuries. Most of the fishers either returned to China after trading in Mikyo, or decided to live in Mikyo, however, their descendants assimilated to the rest of Mikyoan society as they did not bring any women with them, and instead married the local Mikyoan women. The descendants of the original Chinese settlers in Mikyo are fully assimilated to Mikyoan culture and do not speak any Chinese languages or practice any Chinese religion.
By the 17th century, nearby Taiwan had been occupied by Chinese forces, which caused trade between Mikyo and Taiwanese merchants to flourish. During this time some Taiwanese settled in Mikyo, however, most returned to Taiwan after trading and made frequent trips between the islands, while not permanently settling in Mikyo. Of the Taiwanese merchants and fishers who settled in Mikyo, most assimilated into the wider Mikyoan society, as the Chinese Mikyoan population at the time had not yet established any ethnic or cultural enclaves in the Yaeyamas. Some documents from the 17th and 18th centuries describe Taiwanese fishermen and merchants who married Indigenous Yaeyama women1 and were adopted into Indigenous tribes, however, the accuracy of these descriptions is disputed.
Chinese migration to Mikyo did not see a significant increase until the 18th and 19th centuries when groups of Southern Chinese migrated to the Yaeyama Islands, often due to the vulnerability of droughts and floods in the region. Southern Chinese also migrated to other countries in East and Southeast Asia, such as Thailand and Malaysia. The large scale migration of Southern Chinese to Mikyo during the 18th and 19th centuries is often referred to as the "First Wave," as it was the first period in Mikyoan history when large numbers of Chinese both immigrated to Mikyo and established Chinese cultural and ethnic enclaves in the Yaeyamas. The Chinese who initially migrated to Mikyo during the first wave often worked as farmers in the agricultural centers on Illyomotei, Hatuma, and Taketomei, or established small businesses in the growing towns on Ishigagi, Yongnagumei, Gullu, and Illyomotei. The first Ethnic Chinese Enclave in Mikyo was established in 1889 in Ishigagi, which today is one of the historic "Ishigagi Chinatowns." The community was demolished in the 70s to make room for roads and new buildings in the growing city in Ishigagi, however, a plaque remains where the entrance to the community was, marking the site as the location of the first Chinatown in Mikyo. As the Chinese migrants were disproportionately male, many of the migrants who didn't marry Chinese women married Mikyoan and Indigenous women instead, and either fully assimilated to the culture or kept part of their own culture and adopted parts of the local culture as well. As the migrants of the First Wave had been from Southern China, the Chinese languages spoken by the Chinese Mikyoan community included Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese, Hakka, and Hainanese.
As the Chinese population in Mikyo became the second-largest ethnic group in the archipelago, and the influence of Chinese Culture on Mikyo became more pronounced, especially in areas of religion and language. Chinese interpretations of Buddhism and Confucianism were introduced into Mikyoan society and became even more prominent in society than they had been in past centuries, and in turn, Mikyoan interpretations of Buddhism and Confucianism built upon the adopted Chinese interpretations. The strengthening of cultural ties to China and historic cultural ties to Japan helped to solidify the islands as one of the bridges between China and Japan, similar to the rest of the Ryukyu Kingdom, which the Yaeyamas had been incorporated into.
During the Japanese Occupation between 1879 and 1945, Chinese people in Mikyo faced a variety of obstacles both in daily life and in entering education and politics. Like all languages of the Yaeyamas, Chinese languages were banned from being spoken in schools and children caught spoken one of the Chinese languages instead of Japanese would be punished, often being forced to wear a dialect card2. Likewise, Chinese people in Mikyo were legally required to adopt Japanese names and Chinese languages were not allowed to be used in publications of newspapers, magazines, and novels in Mikyo. Often, works published in Chinese languages had to be smuggled into Mikyo illegally, often by missionaries who brought Chinese translations of the Bible or by leftists who brought Chinese translations of their manifestos. The suppression of the Chinese language thus caused Chinese Mikyoan activism to become intertwined with Christianity in Mikyo and with leftism in Mikyo.
The Sino Japanese wars also caused a split within the Chinese Mikyoan community, as the population became split in which country it would support during the wars. The split was primarily along lines of assimilation and age, as younger and less assimilated Chinese supported China in the wars and older and more assimilated Chinese supported Japan in the wars.
During the Yobosu Era between 1958 and 1998, the social status of Chinese people in Mikyo changed significantly, however, the actual status of Chinese people in Mikyoan society during and as a result of the Yobosu Era is subject to much debate in activist, historian, and sociologist circles. Whereas some argue that as a result of the Pan-Asian ideology promoted by the Yobosu Government Chinese Mikyoans received privileges which elevated them to the status of Ethnic Mikyoans, whereas others argue that it placed Chinese Mikyoans in a position similar to Pacific Islander Mikyoans3 and Turkic Mikyoans4, as a model minority but still oppressed on the basis of ethnicity or race. Mandarin Chinese was enshrined as an official language of Mikyo in 1986, however, whereas the Yobosu Regime considered this to be in recognition of the Chinese people, others have argued that this was instead a move to promote relations with Mainland China. Likewise, whereas several Chinese holidays were established as nationally recognized holidays, some argue that this was not truly an example of incorporating Chinese Mikyoans into society but rather as a way to place Chinese Mikyoans on a pedestal above other races, as Chinese were considered to be within the same race as Mikyoans by the Yobosu Era as a result of propaganda and classifying Chinese and Mikyoans as "Asian Mikyoan" on the census in 1970.
During the 1980s and 1990s, some hostility between Chinese Mikyoan and Vietnamese Mikyoan (mainly refugees) groups lead to several instances of ethnic-based attacks and hate crimes, however, by the mid-'90s these instances had mostly been subsided.
By the 80s and 90s, the power of the Yobosu Government had weakened significantly and was eventually overthrown in 1998, thus Mikyo began to open up trade and travel to the rest of the world after martial law was ended in the late 80s. As a result, many Chinese Mikyoans left the country, however, more Chinese people entered the country, often for work. The majority of Chinese migrant workers coming to Mikyo, however, were from northern and rural areas of China and often spoke Mandarin, as opposed to Southern Chinese languages as older generations and waves of migrants did. The large scale migration of Chinese people to Mikyo is considered to be the "Second Wave" of Chinese migration to Mikyo, and it is considered to have ended during the late 90s as a result of the 1997 Asian financial crisis which caused incentives to migrate to Mikyo to decline.
During the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, blame in Mikyo as to the cause of the sudden economic decline was often pushed onto minority groups, which included Chinese migrants. As a result of some Yobosu officials claiming that Chinese migrants and businesses were taking advantage of loosening economic regulation in Mikyo and outpacing native Mikyoan businesses, during the 1997 and 1998 riots Chinese businesses and families were often targeted in the violence.
Chinese migration to Mikyo did not begin to significantly increase until after the 2008 global recession, from which Mikyo and China both recovered from quickly or did not suffer greatly from, to begin with. Modern Chinese migration to Mikyo is considered the "Third Wave." The Third Wave consists of mass migration by two groups, which are distinct in several areas, including financial status, education level, and language. Primarily Standard Mandarin-speaking students and professionals migrating to Mikyo to work and study are considered to contrast with working-class, dialect-speaking, workers migrating from rural China to work manual labor jobs (such as construction.) Working-class migrants are also far more likely to migrate to Mikyo without proper documentation than professional and student migrants. Because of the disparity and differences between the two groups, some argue that the "Third Wave" should instead be considered two waves of Chinese migration occurring at once, rather than as one singular wave of migration.
Despite being considered "Asian Mikyoan" in Mikyoan society, Chinese Mikyoans may still face discrimination and disadvantages in modern Mikyoan society that other Asian Mikyoans may not, depending on a multitude of factors, including language, assimilation, and skin color. Within the Chinese Mikyoan community as well there exists a significant disparity in areas such as wealth and academic achievement between groups.
Anti-Chinese Discrimination and Prejudice in the Modern Era
Despite wider shifts in the way Chinese Mikyoans interact with Mikyoan society, Chinese Mikyoans may face some discrimination from non-Chinese Mikyoans. Anti-Chinese discrimination and prejudice in Mikyoan society, however, is often heavily divided along lines of class, assimilation, gender, sexuality, and immigration status. Highly assimilated Chinese Mikyoans (such as those who speak primarily or exclusively Mikyoan, live outside Chinatowns in Mikyo, or have a pure Mikyoan name) are often less likely to face discrimination and prejudice in certain scenarios than less assimilated Chinese Mikyoans. Likewise the assimilation divide in regards to anti-Chinese discrimination can perpetuate class-based discrimination, as discrimination against less assimilated Chinese Mikyoans in the workplace (such as with hiring and with promotions) can cause less assimilated Chinese Mikyoans to receive lower pay than more assimilated Chinese Mikyoans over time, perpetuating a wage disparity within the community.
Similarly, anti-Chinese discrimination in Mikyo can intersect and amplify other areas of prejudice and discrimination, such as sexism and Anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination. For example, this is exemplified by how Chinese Mikyoan women in non-STEM on average earn less than Chinese Mikyoan men and non-Chinese Mikyoan women, both groups earning less than non-Chinese Mikyoan men on average, according to the Mikyoan Center for Ethnic and Racial Justice (MCERJ). Likewise LGBTQ+ Chinese Mikyoan people are on average at a higher risk of being the victims of violence and of hiring discrimination than non-LGBTQ+ Chinese Mikyoans.
Society and Culture
Chinese Mikyoans make up the second-largest ethnic group in Mikyo, and by some accounts, people with whole or partial Chinese ancestry may account for a fifth or more of the total Mikyoan population.
2019 Estimates from the National Mikyoan Census Department (NMCD) reports that the number of people of primarily or wholely Chinese Ancestry in Mikyo is estimated to be 672,189 people, which accounts for 11.75% of the population. Furthermore, the number of people with whole or partial Chinese Ancestry in Mikyo is estimated to be 1,089,485 people, which accounts for 19.05% of the entire Mikyoan population.
Unlike other ethnic groups in Mikyo, Chinese Mikyoans are widely dispersed throughout every county in Mikyo, whereas other groups tend to concentrate in highly urbanized counties. This is in large part due to the long history of Chinese migration to Mikyo, which has caused people of Chinese ancestry to become widespread throughout the Yaeyama Islands.
Whereas Chinese migration to Mikyo before the 1980s primarily consisted of Southern Chinese migrants, modern migration consists primarily of Mandarin Chinese migrants from both rural and urban areas of Mainland China. As a result of this differenced, more assimilated groups and Chinese families who have been living in Mikyo for generations tend to be Southern Chinese and speak a Southern dialect, whereas new migrants tend to be Mandarin-speaking.
Taiwanese migration to Mikyo in the Modern Era has been somewhat limited due to the proximity of the two areas requiring less long-term residency in the other for work. As a result, Taiwanese Mikyoans make up a small part of the wider Chinese Mikyoan population.
Mandarin Chinese has been an official language in Mikyo since 1986.
In the past, Southern Chinese dialects and languages were far more common than Mandarin, due to mass migration from Southern China to Mikyo. Today, however, Mandarin is by far the most common Chinese language spoken in Mikyo, and it is commonly used as a lingua franca in Chinese communities, alongside other common languages such as Mikyoan and English.
Southern Chinese dialects have gradually been phased out over the past century, as Mandarin, English, and Mikyoan have replaced them over time due to factors such as assimilation.
Between ages, there is also a linguistic difference, as younger Chinese Mikyoans tend to speak primarily Mandarin rather than any other Chinese dialect, and as well often speak Mikyoan and English competently, due to their uses as lingua francas as well in Mikyo. By contrast, older Chinese Mikyoans tend to speak a Chinese dialect and speak primarily Mikyoan as their second language, with limited ability in English.
Some Chinese languages and dialects are used almost exclusively in Mikyo, such as Gousifa-Ngyy5 (which is nearly extinct), as well as Mikyoan Hokkien, which has historically been used by Hokkien Communities and continues to be used to some extent today.
Chinese languages have also had a large impact on the Mikyoan language, as the Mikyoan language has borrowed many words and concepts from past and modern forms of Chinese dialects. Some estimates claim that roughly 70% of Mikyoan vocabulary consists of Chinese loanwords due to extensive borrowing from Chinese.
Chinese language media is fairly common in Mikyo due to Mandarin's status as an official language in the country. New broadcast TV channels in Mandarin Chinese are common, as are Chinese news publications. Chinese Dialects, such as Min and Yue, however, are less common to be found in Mikyoan media, due to them lacking recognition as an official language in Mikyo. Media in Chinese Dialects are often independently run and privately funded, as opposed to Mandarin media which is often government-funded, especially news broadcasts.
Mandarin Chinese is also commonly taught in schools and used as a language of education in Mikyo, as it's an official language. Although less commonly studied in Mikyo than English, Mandarin Chinese is commonly taught in Mikyoan schools as a second language, sometimes alongside or after teaching English to students. Chinese language schools, primarily Mandarin but some in dialects such as Hokkien and Yue as well, are also very common in Mikyo, especially in primarily Chinese communities such as those in Yongnagumei and Ishigagi.
Because Mandarin Chinese is an official language in Mikyo, official documents and speeches are translated into Mandarin Chinese, and government offices are required to have Chinese translation services available.
Like with the larger Mikyoan population, a plurality (45.7%) of Chinese Mikyoans are irreligious or claim to be part of no single religion. The religion most commonly practiced by Chinese Mikyoans is Buddhism, practiced by around 30.1% of Chinese Mikyoans.
Although adherence to traditional religions is at an all-time low in Chinese Mikyoan history, there has been a slight trend among younger Chinese Mikyoans to follow newer Mikyoan religions that are based on or incorporate aspects of traditional Chinese religions and philosophies. The number of younger Chinese Mikyoans following new Mikyoan religions, however, is a minority, as a majority (65.4%) of Chinese Mikyoans between the ages of 18-34 claim to be part of no single religion.
Families which have lived in Mikyo for several generations are far more likely to be irreligious, however, a large number of Chinese Mikyoans who have recently migrated to Mikyo or have only been living in Mikyo for one generation still follow no single religion, in particular, Chinese Mikyoans from Mainland China.
A large number of Chinese Mikyoans follow Christianity, in particular, Chinese Mikyoans who have migrated or are descended from people who have migrated from Taiwan or Hong Kong. A large number of Chinese Mikyoans from families that have resided in Mikyo for several generations also claim to be Christian, especially in Gohama and Ishigagi, which have large multicultural and multiethnic Christian communities.
Political Affiliation and Activism
Due to the Chinese Mikyoan community being diverse in regards to socioeconomic status, immigration status, language, culture, religion, settlement, and assimilation, the political affiliation of Chinese Mikyoans in Mikyo tends to be somewhat divided along similar lines. In general, however, older and more assimilated Chinese Mikyoans and Chinese Mikyoans of a higher economic status tend to vote slightly more for centrist or right wing parties, whereas younger and less assimilated Chinese and Chinese Mikyoans of lower economic status tend to vote more for left wing parties. Research from the Centre for Electorate Research of Mikyo (CERM) indicates that the religion of Chinese Mikyoans tends to have little to no noticeable effect on the political affiliation of Chinese Mikyoans.
Perhaps as a result of being such a politically divided group, Chinese Mikyoans are one of the most politically active ethnic groups in Mikyo in regards to voting in both national and local elections. Of all Chinese Mikyoans who were considered eligible to vote in 2018 (being older than 18 and being born in Mikyo or having lived in the country for 5+ years), polling indicates that 34.2% of all eligible Chinese Mikyoan voters did so in the primaries, 72.6% did so in the first round of voting, and 89.3% did so in the second round of voting, compared to the national rate of 26.8% in the primaries, 58.4% in the first round of voting, and 75.8% in the second round of voting.
In the 2018 Presidential Election, Chinese Mikyoans in the second round of voting primarily voted for Ivan Nguo (73.4%), which continued a trend in the Chinese Mikyoan community as gradually shifting more towards left-wing policies, compared to center and right-wing policies. For comparison, in the 2013 Presidential Election, Chinese Mikyoans in the second round of voting were split between Ivan Nguo (52.8%) and Steven Chang (47.2%). The shifting political affiliations of Chinese Mikyoans is a subject of debate among academics, however, most agree that it is in part due to the increased number of foreign born Chinese gaining citizenship/suffrage in Mikyo (as foreign born people in Mikyo tend to vote more left wing), a shift towards a younger electorate in the Chinese Mikyoan community, and the increasingly far-right rhetoric of centrist and right-wing parties into more Yobosuesque policies and discussions, which are seen as dangerous by many in the Chinese Mikyoan community.
As Chinese Mikyoans are a very politically active ethnic group in Mikyoan society, a large number of activists, politicians, and political theorists in Mikyo have been of Chinese descent, including Huadek Tsai (蔡花的, Chinese-Mikyoan, early feminist), Chue Imngeok-Tsai (蔡吹音樂, Chinese-Malaysian, feminist and socialist activist and political theorist), Marie Kang (Japanese-Chinese-Indigenous Yaeyama, politician), Steven Chang (Chinese-Mikyoan, former politician), and Eric Hua (Chinese-Indigenous Yayeama, queer activist and political theorist.)
1 - Indigenous Yaeyamas
2 - Dialect Card
3 - Pacific Islander Mikyoans
4 - Turkic Mikyoans (In progress)
5 - Gousifa-Ngyy