Fishing and canneries

Japanese Americans found work at salmon canneries along the Columbia River in Oregon and Washington, and their labor was welcomed in Alaskan towns such as Ketchikan and Petersburg as early as the 1890s. They traveled by ship to the cannery towns, where they slowly developed small communities whose population swelled with the yearly arrival of workers. Issei (Japanese immigrant) entrepreneurs started the oyster industry from scratch in Puget Sound. Japanese American oyster farms became thriving businesses before World War II.

Industry and employment (439)
Fishing and canneries (254)

Related articles from the Densho Encyclopedia :
Takahashi v. Fish and Game Commission


Use <Ctrl> or (⌘) keys to select multiple terms

254 items
New Years celebration (ddr-densho-123-3)
img New Years celebration (ddr-densho-123-3)
New Years celebration hosted by Mr. Mamizuka, a labor contractor at the Alaska fishing and cannery company. His friends/co-workers are seated around the table. (L to R): unknown, Mr. Saburo, Mr. Masaki, Matsujiro Mamizuka, Mrs. Mamizuka, Bette Inui (who lived upstairs), Mr. Taoka, unknown, Mr. Ueno (?).
Shucking oysters (ddr-densho-15-93)
img Shucking oysters (ddr-densho-15-93)
These Japanese Americans are shucking oysters on a table. Unshelled oysters were stored behind the wall shown here. The workers grabbed the oysters through an opening in the wall, opened them, placed the oysters in buckets, then deposited the shells on a conveyor belt below the worktable. Shuckers were paid by the bucket.
Oyster farmer (ddr-densho-15-115)
img Oyster farmer (ddr-densho-15-115)
Mr. Mukai steering oysters into a box, where they were steamed open for canning.
Unloading oysters from a bateau (ddr-densho-15-105)
img Unloading oysters from a bateau (ddr-densho-15-105)
These two farmers are unloading oysters from a bateau for processing. Left to right: Chuck (last name unknown) and Jack Tanabe.
Men on ship's deck (ddr-densho-15-33)
img Men on ship's deck (ddr-densho-15-33)
These Japanese Americans are on their way to work in the Alaskan canneries. The man lying down on the far left is Mike Hirahara. The three men closest to the camera from top to bottom are Min Kanazawa, (first name unknown) Sano, and George Nojiri.
Scow (ddr-densho-15-119)
img Scow (ddr-densho-15-119)
The scow was used to gather oysters. A winch-operated dredge was dragged across the oyster beds at high tide, and the harvested oysters were then emptied onto the scow or a bateau. In order to deliver the oysters to the processing plant, both the scow and the bateau had to be towed.
Two men washing canned salmon (ddr-densho-15-90)
img Two men washing canned salmon (ddr-densho-15-90)
Fred Kosaka (left) and (first name unknown) Takehara wash cans of salmon that have just been cooked. Washing was necessary to remove debris produced during the cooking process.
Two men fishing for trout (ddr-densho-15-91)
img Two men fishing for trout (ddr-densho-15-91)
Fred Kosaka (top) and (first name unknown) Sano fish for Dolly Varden, a type of trout. The two men were in Alaska to work in the canneries.