Life in Japan and reasons for leaving

Most of the Issei (first-generation) immigrants belonged to the peasant farming class that had been hurt by industrialization, inflation, and rising taxes caused by the Meiji government's modernization program. The majority of the immigrant workers came from the four prefectures of Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Kumamoto, and Fukuoka. The country was hard hit by depression following the Russo-Japanese war, which ended in 1905. Hoping for better economic opportunity than was available in the rigid society of Japan -- then just emerging from the feudal era -- ambitious men, especially younger sons who would not inherit property, traveled to the new country with the dream of making their fortune. Pioneer Issei women -- the first Japanese women to receive public education under Meiji reforms -- joined them as brides, many seeking to avoid living under the authority of their marital families.

Immigration and citizenship (105)
Life in Japan and reasons for leaving (59)

Related articles from the Densho Encyclopedia :
Immigration

59 items
Marion Tsutakawa Kanemoto Interview Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-148-1)
vh Marion Tsutakawa Kanemoto Interview Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-148-1)
Family background: father came to United States from Japan to help with the family business
Gene Akutsu Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-1-1)
vh Gene Akutsu Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-1-1)
Immigrant parent's arrival in U.S. and means of making a living
Hideo Hoshide Interview I Segment 3 (ddr-densho-1000-184-3)
vh Hideo Hoshide Interview I Segment 3 (ddr-densho-1000-184-3)
Father's family background in Japan: sinking ship results in loss of family business
James Yamazaki Interview Segment 4 (ddr-densho-1000-175-4)
vh James Yamazaki Interview Segment 4 (ddr-densho-1000-175-4)
Mother's family background: raised by a Canadian missionary

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 ...

Jim Akutsu Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-2-2)
vh Jim Akutsu Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-2-2)
Father's family background and parental lessons: broaden your environment

Interview was conducted over two days because of delays caused by technical difficulties.

Roger Daniels Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1012-17-2)
vh Roger Daniels Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1012-17-2)
Discussion of the Japanese American immigrant experience (audio only)

This interview is audio-only. It contains raw footage used by Steven Okazaki in his 1985 film Unfinished Business.

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 ...

Helen Harano Christ Interview Segment 3 (ddr-densho-1013-6-3)
vh Helen Harano Christ Interview Segment 3 (ddr-densho-1013-6-3)
Grandparents' immigration to Hawaii, eventually settling in Berkeley
James Yamazaki Interview Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-175-1)
vh James Yamazaki Interview Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-175-1)
Father's background as a Buddhist minister in Japan

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 ...

Yoshimi Matsuura Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1014-6-2)
vh Yoshimi Matsuura Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1014-6-2)
Father's family background: immigrating possibly to avoid military conscription
Betty Morita Shibayama Interview Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-152-1)
vh Betty Morita Shibayama Interview Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-152-1)
Family background: grandfather "jumped ship" on way to Mexico and landed in Seattle, Washington
Seichi Hayashida Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-14-1)
vh Seichi Hayashida Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-14-1)
Motivation for Issei immigration: to earn money and return
James Yamazaki Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-175-2)
vh James Yamazaki Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-175-2)
Father's family in Japan

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.

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