yellow-peril

Cultural Dictionary

Yellow Peril definition


A supposed threat to the United States posed by Japan and China. The phrase arose in the late nineteenth century, at a time when Japanese and Chinese immigration to America was meeting resistance and when Japan was growing as a military power. (See internment of Japanese Americans.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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