Agriculture

Many Issei (first-generation Japanese immigrants) began as sharecroppers. Others sought to buy land, but the Issei had to overcome obstacles preventing them from competing with white farmers. California and other states passed alien land laws prohibiting Asian immigrants from purchasing or leasing agricultural land. There were ways around the discriminatory laws: an Issei father could put the property in the name of his American-born child, or issei could form corporations in which a majority of the shareholders were American citizens. Despite the alien land laws, Issei farmers played a significant role in West Coast agriculture. In the years just prior to World War II, Japanese American families grew 35 percent of the produce in California. By the 1920s, Japanese Americans supplied 75 percent of the produce and half the milk to the Puget Sound region.

Agriculture (508)

Related articles from the Densho Encyclopedia :
Seabrook Farms

505 items
An Oral History with Seiko Ishida (ddr-csujad-29-11)
av An Oral History with Seiko Ishida (ddr-csujad-29-11)
Retired Kibei teacher recounts samurai parents' background and their immigration to Seattle, Washington; socioeconomic composition of Seattle's Japanese community; earlier teacher training; prewar stays in Japan as a child and as a tutor in a missionary family; experiences as a teacher in the wartime resettlement in New York; and postwar return to Los Angeles. This oral ...
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 110, No. 4 (February 2, 1990) (ddr-pc-62-4)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 110, No. 4 (February 2, 1990) (ddr-pc-62-4)
Select article titles: "Chinese Immigration Relief Act Veto Sustained; Bush's Executive Order Rules"(p.1); "Study of JACL's Actions During WWII Due for April Presentation"(p.1); "Sen Nishiyama Compares Heritage and Human Rights in U.S.-Japan Relations at Selanoco Fete"(p.3); "Issei History of U.S. in Agriculture"(p.6).
Eiichi Edward Sakauye Interview Segment 5 (ddr-jamsj-2-7-5)
vh Eiichi Edward Sakauye Interview Segment 5 (ddr-jamsj-2-7-5)
Father's decision to form NKS, an agricultural partnership with two other Issei men
Eiichi Edward Sakauye Interview Segment 16 (ddr-jamsj-2-7-16)
vh Eiichi Edward Sakauye Interview Segment 16 (ddr-jamsj-2-7-16)
Cooperative efforts amongst Japanese farmers: trade secrets, co-op
George Hanada Interview Segment 10 (ddr-jamsj-2-5-10)
vh George Hanada Interview Segment 10 (ddr-jamsj-2-5-10)
Sharecropping in California after World War II

This interview was conducted by the Japanese American Museum of San Jose, and is part of a project entitled "Lasting Stories: The Resettlement of San Jose Japantown," a collaborative project between the Japanese American Museum of San Jose and Densho.

Crew of Japanese laborers (ddr-densho-259-354)
img Crew of Japanese laborers (ddr-densho-259-354)
Caption by Homer Yasui: "A group of Japanese laborers standing in the back row, and a group sitting in the front on the ground I will guess that this crew was picking applies."
Acreage of strawberry plants (ddr-densho-259-268)
img Acreage of strawberry plants (ddr-densho-259-268)
Caption by Homer Yasui: "A large acreage of strawberry plants I will guess that it was taken at either Summit or in Dee."
Two men in an apple orchard (ddr-densho-259-260)
img Two men in an apple orchard (ddr-densho-259-260)
Caption by Homer Yasui: "[Masuo Yasui] and a young Japanese man wearing a striped suit and holding an apple in each hand. I don't know who this man was."
Issei laborers eating apples on a farm (ddr-densho-259-353)
img Issei laborers eating apples on a farm (ddr-densho-259-353)
Caption by Homer Yasui: "A group of Japanese laborers having at least a refreshment break in front of a couple of wooden sheds The men appear to be eating apples."
Board of Directors of the Apple Growers Association (ddr-densho-259-29)
img Board of Directors of the Apple Growers Association (ddr-densho-259-29)
Caption by Homer Yasui: "I don't recognize any of the 14 Caucasian men in this group picture with [Masuo Yasui], but I suspect that they were the Board of Directors of the Apple Growers Association."
Aerial photograph of Mosier Lake, Oregon (ddr-densho-259-202)
img Aerial photograph of Mosier Lake, Oregon (ddr-densho-259-202)
Caption by Homer Yasui: "'Mosier Lake', which was on our farm property in Mosier [Oregon]."
Packing house in Mosier, Oregon (ddr-densho-259-345)
img Packing house in Mosier, Oregon (ddr-densho-259-345)
Caption by Homer Yasui: "Cement block packing house and storage shed, Mosier, Oregon."
Berry Association Committee building (ddr-densho-34-64)
img Berry Association Committee building (ddr-densho-34-64)
Mr. Geo T. Masukawa and his dog in front of the building where the Berry Association Committee met. The berry cannery would later occupy this site.
Current view of former Issei dairy farm (ddr-densho-35-36)
img Current view of former Issei dairy farm (ddr-densho-35-36)
An Issei couple operated a large dairy farm in a town formerly known as Days, Washington. The property line extended beyond the area shown here. With the advent of World War II, they were forced to sell their property for a fraction of its worth. This is the original barn and house previously owned by the ...
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