Fishing and canneries

Japanese Americans found work at salmon canneries along the Columbia River in Oregon and Washington, and their labor was welcomed in Alaskan towns such as Ketchikan and Petersburg as early as the 1890s. They traveled by ship to the cannery towns, where they slowly developed small communities whose population swelled with the yearly arrival of workers. Issei (Japanese immigrant) entrepreneurs started the oyster industry from scratch in Puget Sound. Japanese American oyster farms became thriving businesses before World War II.

Fishing and canneries (174)

Related articles from the Densho Encyclopedia :
Takahashi v. Fish and Game Commission

174 items
Frank Miyamoto Interview IV Segment 31 (ddr-densho-1000-145-31)
vh Frank Miyamoto Interview IV Segment 31 (ddr-densho-1000-145-31)
Other memories of the Waterfall cannery: poor living conditions; layout of the cannery

This interview focuses on the narrator's experiences working in the Alaska salmon cannery system in the 1930s.

Frank Miyamoto Interview IV Segment 35 (ddr-densho-1000-145-35)
vh Frank Miyamoto Interview IV Segment 35 (ddr-densho-1000-145-35)
Dangerous health conditions in the canneries

This interview focuses on the narrator's experiences working in the Alaska salmon cannery system in the 1930s.

Frank Miyamoto Interview IV Segment 3 (ddr-densho-1000-145-3)
vh Frank Miyamoto Interview IV Segment 3 (ddr-densho-1000-145-3)
History and organization of the Alaska canneries

This interview focuses on the narrator's experiences working in the Alaska salmon cannery system in the 1930s.

Frank Miyamoto Interview IV Segment 5 (ddr-densho-1000-145-5)
vh Frank Miyamoto Interview IV Segment 5 (ddr-densho-1000-145-5)
Isseis' roles as contractors in the canneries

This interview focuses on the narrator's experiences working in the Alaska salmon cannery system in the 1930s.

Frank Miyamoto Interview IV Segment 32 (ddr-densho-1000-145-32)
vh Frank Miyamoto Interview IV Segment 32 (ddr-densho-1000-145-32)
Description of the physical layout of the Waterfall cannery, separate lodging for different ethnic groups

This interview focuses on the narrator's experiences working in the Alaska salmon cannery system in the 1930s.

Frank Miyamoto Interview IV Segment 6 (ddr-densho-1000-145-6)
vh Frank Miyamoto Interview IV Segment 6 (ddr-densho-1000-145-6)
Overview of the general operation of an Alaskan cannery; description of four different types of salmon

This interview focuses on the narrator's experiences working in the Alaska salmon cannery system in the 1930s.

Frank Miyamoto Interview IV Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1000-145-9)
vh Frank Miyamoto Interview IV Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1000-145-9)
Organization and hierarchy of the cannery personnel

This interview focuses on the narrator's experiences working in the Alaska salmon cannery system in the 1930s.

Mako Nakagawa Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-66-1)
vh Mako Nakagawa Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-66-1)
Father's background: eking out a living in an Alaskan cannery
Toshio Moritsugu Interview Segment 3 (ddr-densho-1000-318-3)
vh Toshio Moritsugu Interview Segment 3 (ddr-densho-1000-318-3)
Growing up in Hawaiian fishing village called Fish Camp

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the ...

Letter from Frank Herron Smith to C. I. O. Reporter, Station KYA, San Francisco, May 5, 1945 (ddr-csujad-21-3)
doc Letter from Frank Herron Smith to C. I. O. Reporter, Station KYA, San Francisco, May 5, 1945 (ddr-csujad-21-3)
Letter to popular local radio reporter requests that he speak out against injustices perpetrated against Japanese American citizens during World War II. Smith notes his responsibility for "the care of our 37 Japanese churches," states that he is concerned that church members are not being allowed to work in canneries in Sacramento by the union, and ...
Man at fish hatchery (ddr-densho-359-524)
img Man at fish hatchery (ddr-densho-359-524)
Unidentified man poses at the Bonneville fish hatchery.
Men salting salmon (ddr-densho-15-22)
img Men salting salmon (ddr-densho-15-22)
Pictured at Shear Water Bay near Kodiak Island, these Japanese Americans are salting the nose area of the salmon, which will later be pickled. Pickled nose cartilage was considered a delicacy.
New Washington Oyster Company (ddr-densho-15-92)
img New Washington Oyster Company (ddr-densho-15-92)
Oyster companies, such as New Washington, hired many Japanese American workers during the harvesting season.
Oyster bateau and scow (ddr-densho-15-116)
img Oyster bateau and scow (ddr-densho-15-116)
The scow (upper right) and oyster bateau (lower right) harvested oysters together. The scow was equipped with a winch-operated dredge, which was lowered and dragged across the oyster beds at high tide. Oysters were then loaded onto the bateau and delivered to the processing plant. Both scows and bateaux had to be towed.
Oyster  farmer (ddr-densho-15-99)
img Oyster farmer (ddr-densho-15-99)
Hisato "Monks" Yano harvesting oysters with tongs. Tongs were used when the tide was not completely out. Oysters were collected between two rakes, one at the end of each pole. The harvester pushed the poles together, closing the rakes, then pulled up the oysters. One load weighed approximately 20 to 30 pounds.
Oyster farmer taking a bath (ddr-densho-15-95)
img Oyster farmer taking a bath (ddr-densho-15-95)
Norio Mitsuoka taking a bath. The water supply was limited, and workers had to depend on rainwater, which was collected in vats (behind the barrel), for bathwater.
Oyster farmer (ddr-densho-15-101)
img Oyster farmer (ddr-densho-15-101)
"Turk" Fugiya pushes a bateau, a small barge, with a pole. The harvested oysters were loaded on bateaux and moved by towing or by digging and pushing off on long poles.
Departure from the canneries (ddr-densho-15-42)
img Departure from the canneries (ddr-densho-15-42)
These workers are in Shear Water Bay near Kodiak Island. They are about to leave the canneries.
Oyster  farmer (ddr-densho-15-97)
img Oyster farmer (ddr-densho-15-97)
"Turk" Fujiya picking oysters at low tide. A bateau, or small barge, that carried the oysters is seen in the background to the right. Long poles were used to mark the cleared areas so that the bateau would not sit on unharvested oysters.
Oyster processing building (ddr-densho-39-21)
img Oyster processing building (ddr-densho-39-21)
Original museum description: Photograph, black and white glossy of a building on pilings in the water. It was used in the oyster business. This could be at Willapa Bay in southwestern Washington. Some fingerprint and gray mark on photo. (Info from original museum description)
API