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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 (435)
Fishing and canneries (252)

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

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252 items
Marking an oyster bed (ddr-densho-15-111)
img Marking an oyster bed (ddr-densho-15-111)
Emil Nakao marking an oyster bed. The bed was marked with long poles at low tide, allowing farmers to gather the oysters with tongs at high tide.
Oyster  farmer (ddr-densho-15-97)
img Oyster farmer (ddr-densho-15-97)
"Turk" Fujiya picking oysters at low tide. A bateau, or small barge, that carried the oysters is seen in the background to the right. Long poles were used to mark the cleared areas so that the bateau would not sit on unharvested oysters.
Men on ship's deck (ddr-densho-15-39)
img Men on ship's deck (ddr-densho-15-39)
These Japanese Americans are relaxing on deck on their way to Alaska to work in the canneries. The man glancing at the camera is George Izui, whose family ran the Panama Drugstore in Seattle's Nihonmachi.
Motorized scow (ddr-densho-15-117)
img Motorized scow (ddr-densho-15-117)
This scow belonged to G. T. Mogan, one of the organizers of the Willa Point Oyster Company. The scow was equipped with a motorized dredge that farmers used to harvest oysters at high tide. The empty dredge can be seen on the left side of the boat toward the back. Two bateaux are connected to the …
Oyster  farmer (ddr-densho-15-99)
img Oyster farmer (ddr-densho-15-99)
Hisato "Monks" Yano harvesting oysters with tongs. Tongs were used when the tide was not completely out. Oysters were collected between two rakes, one at the end of each pole. The harvester pushed the poles together, closing the rakes, then pulled up the oysters. One load weighed approximately 20 to 30 pounds.
Oyster farmer (ddr-densho-15-96)
img Oyster farmer (ddr-densho-15-96)
Mr. Okazaki gathering oysters in bushel baskets. When full, the baskets were emptied onto the bateau in the background. If the flats were muddy, the baskets were pulled to the bateau on wooden slats. The gloves worn by Okazaki were made from canvas covered with rubber. Because of the sharp oyster shells, a pair of gloves …
Man next to oyster delivery truck (ddr-densho-39-47)
img Man next to oyster delivery truck (ddr-densho-39-47)
Japanese Americans were active in oyster farming in the Puget Sound area before World War II.
Three oyster farmers (ddr-densho-39-49)
img Three oyster farmers (ddr-densho-39-49)
Japanese Americans were active in oyster farming in the Puget Sound area before World War II.
Oyster processing building (ddr-densho-39-21)
img Oyster processing building (ddr-densho-39-21)
Original museum description: Photograph, black and white glossy of a building on pilings in the water. It was used in the oyster business. This could be at Willapa Bay in southwestern Washington. Some fingerprint and gray mark on photo. (Info from original museum description)
Oyster farm living quarters (?) (ddr-densho-39-50)
img Oyster farm living quarters (?) (ddr-densho-39-50)
Japanese Americans were active in oyster farming in and around the Puget Sound area before World War II.
New Washington company truck (ddr-densho-39-24)
img New Washington company truck (ddr-densho-39-24)
Before World War II, Japanese Americans worked in the oyster farming business in the Puget Sound area.
New Washington Oyster company truck (ddr-densho-39-23)
img New Washington Oyster company truck (ddr-densho-39-23)
Original museum description: Photograph, black and white glossy of a building of an oyster farm complex and a truck backed into the doorway of the building. The truck's sign says "New Washington Brand Oysters." The photo has a smudge mark on the building's roof and is turning brown. This might be at Willapa Bay in southwestern …
New Washington Oyster Company (ddr-densho-39-48)
img New Washington Oyster Company (ddr-densho-39-48)
Japanese Americans were active in oyster farming in the Puget Sound area before World War II.
Tugboat used in oyster farming (ddr-densho-39-22)
img Tugboat used in oyster farming (ddr-densho-39-22)
Original museum description: Photograph, black and white glossy of a tugboat with a tow line slowing pulling something (a barge?). There is someone standing in the boat. There is a forest in the background. Photo has turned brown. There are spots on the photo. This might possibly be Willapa Bay in southwest Washington at an oyster …
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