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 (171)

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

171 items
Oyster farmer (ddr-densho-15-100)
img Oyster farmer (ddr-densho-15-100)
Norio Mitsuoka is farming oysters. Two long tongs allowed farmers to harvest oysters before the tide was completely out. Each tong had a "rake" at the end, and the farmers would scoop the oysters together between the rakes and haul them up. When full, the load weighed approximately 20 to 30 pounds. Oyster harvesters were paid ...
Station-house dock (ddr-densho-15-94)
img Station-house dock (ddr-densho-15-94)
Oyster-farm workers often lived in station houses built on pilings in the bay. Since the only way to access the house was by boat, the houses had floating docks, such as the one shown here.
Steamship identification ticket (ddr-densho-15-19)
doc Steamship identification ticket (ddr-densho-15-19)
This ticket belonged to Norio Mitsuoka, who was on his way to Alaska to work in the canneries.
Cabin quarters (ddr-densho-15-37)
img Cabin quarters (ddr-densho-15-37)
Yozo Sato reads during the voyage to Alaska. Sleeping on a bunk was a luxury. Most passengers had to sleep on cots.
Steerage ticket cover (ddr-densho-15-24)
doc Steerage ticket cover (ddr-densho-15-24)
This ticket belonged to Norio Mitsuoka, who was eighteen at the time he traveled to Japan.
Oyster farmer (ddr-densho-15-96)
img Oyster farmer (ddr-densho-15-96)
Mr. Okazaki gathering oysters in bushel baskets. When full, the baskets were emptied onto the bateau in the background. If the flats were muddy, the baskets were pulled to the bateau on wooden slats. The gloves worn by Okazaki were made from canvas covered with rubber. Because of the sharp oyster shells, a pair of gloves ...
Caulking an oyster bateau (ddr-densho-15-110)
img Caulking an oyster bateau (ddr-densho-15-110)
Norio Mitsuoka caulking an oyster bateau to make it waterproof.
Motorized scow (ddr-densho-15-117)
img Motorized scow (ddr-densho-15-117)
This scow belonged to G. T. Mogan, one of the organizers of the Willa Point Oyster Company. The scow was equipped with a motorized dredge that farmers used to harvest oysters at high tide. The empty dredge can be seen on the left side of the boat toward the back. Two bateaux are connected to the ...
Unloading oysters from a bateau (ddr-densho-15-114)
img Unloading oysters from a bateau (ddr-densho-15-114)
Workers unloading oysters at the Willa Point Oyster Company, where the oysters were canned for shipping.
Oyster farm living quarters (?) (ddr-densho-39-50)
img Oyster farm living quarters (?) (ddr-densho-39-50)
Japanese Americans were active in oyster farming in and around the Puget Sound area before World War II.
Tugboat used in oyster farming (ddr-densho-39-22)
img Tugboat used in oyster farming (ddr-densho-39-22)
Original museum description: Photograph, black and white glossy of a tugboat with a tow line slowing pulling something (a barge?). There is someone standing in the boat. There is a forest in the background. Photo has turned brown. There are spots on the photo. This might possibly be Willapa Bay in southwest Washington at an oyster ...
The Northwest Times Vol. 2 No. 27 (March 24, 1948) (ddr-densho-229-97)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 2 No. 27 (March 24, 1948) (ddr-densho-229-97)
"Nisei War Memorial Drive Keeps on Rolling Along" (p. 1), "Top Court in Nation to Rule on Validity of Calif. Fish Code Barring "Ineligible Aliens" (p. 1), "Money to Fight Nisei Revealed" (p. 1).
Nobu Suzuki Interview I Segment 4 (ddr-densho-1000-84-4)
vh Nobu Suzuki Interview I Segment 4 (ddr-densho-1000-84-4)
Father brings oyster seed from Japan

References are made to several of Nobu Suzuki's personal papers, which are currently available for public perusal at the University of Washington's Manuscripts and University Archives.

Shig Miyaki Interview Segment 3 (ddr-densho-1000-259-3)
vh Shig Miyaki Interview Segment 3 (ddr-densho-1000-259-3)
Helping on fishing boats as a teenager

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 Interior.

Frank Miyamoto Interview IV Segment 28 (ddr-densho-1000-145-28)
vh Frank Miyamoto Interview IV Segment 28 (ddr-densho-1000-145-28)
Changes in the Waterfall Cannery over the years, both in conditions and relationships between workers

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

Frank Miyamoto Interview IV Segment 4 (ddr-densho-1000-145-4)
vh Frank Miyamoto Interview IV Segment 4 (ddr-densho-1000-145-4)
Reasons for Issei involvement as contractors in the cannery system

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

Frank Miyamoto Interview IV Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-145-8)
vh Frank Miyamoto Interview IV Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-145-8)
Description of cannery jobs: vacuum-packing the cans, cooking the fish, stevedoring

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

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