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
Seichi Hayashida Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-14-1)
vh Seichi Hayashida Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-14-1)
Motivation for Issei immigration: to earn money and return
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
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
Marion Tsutakawa Kanemoto Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-148-2)
vh Marion Tsutakawa Kanemoto Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-148-2)
Parents married in Japan, mother immigrates to United States as a "treaty merchant"
Marion Tsutakawa Kanemoto Interview Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-148-1)
vh Marion Tsutakawa Kanemoto Interview Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-148-1)
Family background: father came to United States from Japan to help with the family business
Tom Akashi Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-164-2)
vh Tom Akashi Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-164-2)
Father's background in Japan: attended a prestigious high school
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"
Betty Morita Shibayama Interview Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-152-1)
vh Betty Morita Shibayama Interview Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-152-1)
Family background: grandfather "jumped ship" on way to Mexico and landed in Seattle, Washington
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.

Roy H. Matsumoto Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-153-2)
vh Roy H. Matsumoto Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-153-2)
Family background: parents' immigration to the United States in the early 1900s

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 …

James Yamazaki Interview Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-175-1)
vh James Yamazaki Interview Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-175-1)
Father's background as a Buddhist minister in Japan

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.

James Yamazaki Interview Segment 4 (ddr-densho-1000-175-4)
vh James Yamazaki Interview Segment 4 (ddr-densho-1000-175-4)
Mother's family background: raised by a Canadian missionary

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.

James Yamazaki Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-175-2)
vh James Yamazaki Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-175-2)
Father's family in Japan

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.

Hideo Hoshide Interview I Segment 3 (ddr-densho-1000-184-3)
vh Hideo Hoshide Interview I Segment 3 (ddr-densho-1000-184-3)
Father's family background in Japan: sinking ship results in loss of family business
Hideo Hoshide Interview I Segment 5 (ddr-densho-1000-184-5)
vh Hideo Hoshide Interview I Segment 5 (ddr-densho-1000-184-5)
Mother's family background: getting married through a matchmaker
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