It’s now that time of year when Irish festivals spring up around the world, tall leprechaun hats are donned and sales of Guinness soar. On St. Patrick’s Day, from Toronto to Tokyo, you can dance a jig in your “authentic” Irish-themed pub and celebrate the cultural influence of the Irish diaspora throughout the world.

It’s an appropriate time to think about “Irishness” and how it differs from “being Irish.” My subject matter here is the connections between Ireland and Irish emigre communities throughout the world, but it applies equally to all manner of emigre communities — from the relationship of Italian-Americans to Italy, Yoruba-Brazilians to Nigeria or Korean-Japanese to Japan. I’d also like to explore how bicultural tension can affect relationships with other cultures, including Japan.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.