Broome culture' and its historical links to the Japanese in the pearling industry

Document Type

Journal Article


Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group


Faculty of Regional and Professional Studies


School of Communication and Arts




This article was originally published as: Kaino, L. M. (2011). 'Broome culture' and its historical links to the Japanese in the pearling industry. Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, 25(4), 479-490. Original article available here


The Broome Shire Council's decision in 2009 to suspend the sister-town relationship because of controversy over Taiji's practice of culling dolphins galvanized Broome's Asian and Asian-Aboriginal community (hereafter referred to as poly-ethnic community) to oppose this move. This, and other examples explored in this paper, attests to the strong connection between these two groups that has shaped a distinctive `Broome culture'. This paper explores ways in which Japanese working in the pearling industry contributed to the emergence of a Broome culture through their historic ties with Aborigines. Some of these ties are through family lineage; others are through vast interlocking familial and friendship networks in Broome's Asian-Aboriginal community. Recent interviews attest to the enduring nature of these networks.