Before World War II, many newly arrived young Issei (Japanese immigrant) men and, later, Issei women worked as domestics. Wages were low -- about $1.50 per week in 1900 -- but room and board were provided, and living with an American family provided a means of quickly learning the English language and American customs. After the war, for want of better jobs, dispossessed older Issei and college-age Nisei (their American-born children) again took employment as domestics for well-to-do families.
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.
This interview was conducted as part of a project to capture stories of the Japanese American community of Spokane, Washington. Densho worked in collaboration with the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture.