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
Eiichi Edward Sakauye Interview Segment 1 (ddr-jamsj-2-7-1)
vh Eiichi Edward Sakauye Interview Segment 1 (ddr-jamsj-2-7-1)
Father's background: immigrating to U.S. by way of Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Takashi Matsui Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-45-2)
vh Takashi Matsui Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-45-2)
Parents' reasons for immigrating to United States: no work in Japan after Russo-Japan war
Hiroshi Kashiwagi Interview Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-165-1)
vh Hiroshi Kashiwagi Interview Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-165-1)
Parents' family background: mother came to join father in California as a "picture bride"
Satoru Ichikawa Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-236-2)
vh Satoru Ichikawa Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-236-2)
Father's family background: seventeen generations of Buddhist ministers
Roy H. Matsumoto Interview Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-153-1)
vh Roy H. Matsumoto Interview Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-153-1)
Family background: grandparents' immigration to Hawaii

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 themselves as such.

Mits Koshiyama Interview Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-130-1)
vh Mits Koshiyama Interview Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-130-1)
Family background: father immigrated to the U.S., returned to Japan to marry
Jim Akutsu Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-2-1)
vh Jim Akutsu Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-2-1)
Father's background in Japan, experiences with discrimination upon arrival in U.S.

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

Masao Watanabe Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-103-2)
vh Masao Watanabe Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-103-2)
Father's reasons for coming to the United States: no longer the favorite son

At the time this interview was taped, Mr. Watanabe was recovering from a recent series of cancer treatments.

Junkoh Harui Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-11-1)
vh Junkoh Harui Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-11-1)
Orphaned and without work, father immigrates to Bainbridge Island, Washington and the "largest mill in the world..."

This interview was done outdoors in the Bainbridge Gardens Nursery which resulted in increased background noise and frequent interruptions by the business P.A. system.

API