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 (290)
Life in Japan and reasons for leaving (81)

Related articles from the Densho Encyclopedia :
Immigration

81 items
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
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.

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.

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
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
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
Art Abe Interview Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-206-1)
vh Art Abe Interview Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-206-1)
Father's family background, immigration to the United States
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
Floyd Shimomura Segment 4 (ddr-densho-1000-466-4)
vh Floyd Shimomura Segment 4 (ddr-densho-1000-466-4)
Grandparents' family history: finding Japanese address on a tombstone
Art Abe Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-206-2)
vh Art Abe Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-206-2)
Mother's family background: parents immigrated to U.S., children followed
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.

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
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