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.

Immigration and citizenship (318)
Life in Japan and reasons for leaving (89)

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89 items
Jim Akutsu Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-2-2)
vh Jim Akutsu Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-2-2)
Father's family background and parental lessons: broaden your environment

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

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.

Jim Akutsu Segment 5 (ddr-densho-1000-2-5)
vh Jim Akutsu Segment 5 (ddr-densho-1000-2-5)
Mother's background: prominent samurai family in Japan

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

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.

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.

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"
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.

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.
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
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
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
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.

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
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