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.

Life in Japan and reasons for leaving (79)

Related articles from the Densho Encyclopedia :
Immigration

79 items
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.

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
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.

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"
Eiichi Edward Sakauye Interview Segment 1 (ddr-jamsj-2-7-1)
vh Eiichi Edward Sakauye Interview Segment 1 (ddr-jamsj-2-7-1)
Father's background: immigrating to U.S. by way of Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Jimmie Omura Interview Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1002-11-1)
vh Jimmie Omura Interview Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1002-11-1)
Family background: father was a stowaway at age nineteen on a ship from Japan to the U.S.

This interview was conducted by sisters Emiko and Chizuko Omori for their 1999 documentary, Rabbit in the Moon, about the Japanese American resisters of conscience in the World War II incarceration camps. As a result, the interviews in ...

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.

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.

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"
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
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 ...

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"
Background for the Relocation Program (ddr-csujad-19-34)
doc Background for the Relocation Program (ddr-csujad-19-34)
This is the Background for the Relocation program prepared for information of Staff of the War Relocation Authority. It also describes the early Japanese migration to the United States and some of the economic and social aspects of American Japanese Life. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: WRA_01-22_02
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.
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.

Jane Tomeko Sugimura (ddr-csujad-8-68)
doc Jane Tomeko Sugimura (ddr-csujad-8-68)
Oral history interview with Jane Tomeko Sugimura. Information on the oral history project is found in: csuf_stp_0012A; Glossary in: csuf_stp_0014. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: FCPL Sugimura, Jane Tomeko
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