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.

Life in Japan and reasons for leaving (69)

Related articles from the Densho Encyclopedia :
Immigration

69 items
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
Tom Akashi Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-164-2)
vh Tom Akashi Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-164-2)
Father's background in Japan: attended a prestigious high school
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.

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
Jimmie Omura Interview Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1002-11-1)
vh Jimmie Omura Interview Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1002-11-1)
Family background: father was a stowaway at age nineteen on a ship from Japan to the U.S.

This interview was conducted by sisters Emiko and Chizuko Omori for their 1999 documentary, Rabbit in the Moon, about the Japanese American resisters of conscience in the World War II incarceration camps. As a result, the interviews in ...

Alice Matsumoto Ando Interview Segment 1 (ddr-one-7-73-1)
vh Alice Matsumoto Ando Interview Segment 1 (ddr-one-7-73-1)
Family background

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.

George Azumano Interview Segment 1 (ddr-one-7-32-1)
vh George Azumano Interview Segment 1 (ddr-one-7-32-1)
Family background

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.

Roy H. Matsumoto Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-153-2)
vh Roy H. Matsumoto Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-153-2)
Family background: parents' immigration to the United States in the early 1900s

Although Mr. Matsumoto does not identify himself as a Kibei (American-born person of Japanese ancestry sent to Japan for formal education and socialization when young and later returned to the U.S.), some of his life experiences are similar to those who do identify ...

Shigeko Sese Uno Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-98-1)
vh Shigeko Sese Uno Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-98-1)
Father's immigration story: "They jumped on the first boat they thought was destined for America"
Rudy Tokiwa Interview II Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-92-1)
vh Rudy Tokiwa Interview II Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-92-1)
Father immigrates to start anew and avoid Japan's civil strife

This interview was conducted at the 1998 Americans of Japanese Ancestry Veterans National Convention, held in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Frank Miyamoto Interview I Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-50-1)
vh Frank Miyamoto Interview I Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-50-1)
Parents' emigration to the United States, starting a new life in Seattle
Marion Tsutakawa Kanemoto Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-148-2)
vh Marion Tsutakawa Kanemoto Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-148-2)
Parents married in Japan, mother immigrates to United States as a "treaty merchant"
Shosuke Sasaki Segment 4 (ddr-densho-1000-78-4)
vh Shosuke Sasaki Segment 4 (ddr-densho-1000-78-4)
Father's reasons for immigrating to U.S., jumping ship in Vancouver, B.C.
Min Tonai Interview I Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-354-8)
vh Min Tonai Interview I Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-354-8)
Mother's family background

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.

Kara Kondo Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-139-2)
vh Kara Kondo Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-139-2)
Mother's family background: unaccustomed to new life on a primitive farm
Kara Kondo Interview Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-139-1)
vh Kara Kondo Interview Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-139-1)
Father's family background: immigration to the U.S., settled in the Yakima valley
Harvey Watanabe Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1008-5-2)
vh Harvey Watanabe Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1008-5-2)
Father's experiences fighting in the Russo-Japanese War

Members of the National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS) arranged for and conducted this interview in conjunction with Densho.

Harvey Watanabe Interview Segment 3 (ddr-densho-1008-5-3)
vh Harvey Watanabe Interview Segment 3 (ddr-densho-1008-5-3)
Circumstances of parents' immigration to the U.S.

Members of the National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS) arranged for and conducted this interview in conjunction with Densho.

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