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Agriculture

Many Issei (first-generation Japanese immigrants) began as sharecroppers. Others sought to buy land, but the Issei had to overcome obstacles preventing them from competing with white farmers. California and other states passed alien land laws prohibiting Asian immigrants from purchasing or leasing agricultural land. There were ways around the discriminatory laws: an Issei father could put the property in the name of his American-born child, or issei could form corporations in which a majority of the shareholders were American citizens. Despite the alien land laws, Issei farmers played a significant role in West Coast agriculture. In the years just prior to World War II, Japanese American families grew 35 percent of the produce in California. By the 1920s, Japanese Americans supplied 75 percent of the produce and half the milk to the Puget Sound region.

Industry and employment (435)
Agriculture (693)

Related articles from the Densho Encyclopedia :
Seabrook Farms

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693 items
Taenaka family in a farm (ddr-csujad-25-84)
img Taenaka family in a farm (ddr-csujad-25-84)
A photograph of the Taenaka family in a farm, Brighton, Colorado. Includes Kamie Taenaka and Yaeko Taenaka [?] in McMorrow's sugar beet farm. The same image is found in item: ucsb_jia_0090. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: jia_08_01_026
Taenaka family in farm (ddr-csujad-25-80)
img Taenaka family in farm (ddr-csujad-25-80)
A photograph of Ukichi Taenaka [?], a brother of Toshikuni Taenaka who is a Japanese American Nisei/Kibei soldier. He is harvesting sugar beets in McMorrow's farm, Brighton, Colorado. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: jia_08_01_022
Taenaka family in a farm (ddr-csujad-25-91)
img Taenaka family in a farm (ddr-csujad-25-91)
A photograph of the Taenaka family in a farm, Brighton, Colorado. Includes Tamesaburo Taenaka, Kamie Taenaka, Ukichi Taenaka [?], and Yaeko Taenaka [?], harvesting sugar beets in McMorrow's farm. The same image is found in item: ucsb_jia_0081. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: jia_08_01_033
Farm [farm workers loading truck] (ddr-csujad-26-72)
img Farm [farm workers loading truck] (ddr-csujad-26-72)
Three workers smile at the camera while loading a truck. Caption on back of photograph reads, "The farm." From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_009
University of California, evacuation and settlement study: case history I (ddr-csujad-26-26)
doc University of California, evacuation and settlement study: case history I (ddr-csujad-26-26)
Correspondence regarding a profile of incarceree Harry Osaka written by Robert Spencer. The profile was taken during a trip to Fresno for Harry's mother's funeral with Spencer as the escort and includes Harry's life and family story, farm business before incarceration, religious practices, holiday practices, description of funeral. Profile included as part of the Japanese American …
Young man on tractor (ddr-csujad-26-131)
img Young man on tractor (ddr-csujad-26-131)
Photo of a young Japanese American man on a tractor. Barracks building are seen in the background. From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_101
Tule Lake scrapbook pastel drawing (ddr-csujad-26-66)
img Tule Lake scrapbook pastel drawing (ddr-csujad-26-66)
Scrapbook page featuring a pastel drawing of an agricultural field in a mountain landscape depicting figures working the field on foot and using farm equipment. The drawing is lined on the bottom by a series of radishes. "Yvanne" is signed in the lower right corner. Tule Lake scrapbook (ucsb_mei_0053), page 35. See this object in the …
University of California evacuation and resettlement study: The Gila River WRA relocation center, Rivers, Pinal County, Arizona (ddr-csujad-26-27)
doc University of California evacuation and resettlement study: The Gila River WRA relocation center, Rivers, Pinal County, Arizona (ddr-csujad-26-27)
Description of the Gila River incarceration camp during the first month of occupation, including camp location, climate, landscape, barracks, issues with camp construction, poor conditions and lack of furnishings, incarcerees who were subjected to upon arrival. Camp administration, food and housing issues, camp employment, security, recreation, and social groups are described and analyzed. Report compiled as …
An Oral History with J.S. Kishiyama and Y. Kishiyama (ddr-csujad-29-3)
av An Oral History with J.S. Kishiyama and Y. Kishiyama (ddr-csujad-29-3)
Reflections of an elderly Orange County, California couple on their experiences in America. He recounts his years as an immigrant; she discusses her family background, makeup of Japanese-American community, and rural living. This oral history was conducted for the Japanese American Oral History Project, Oral History Program, California State University, Fullerton; interview conducted by Pat Morgan. …
An Oral History with Woodrow Odanaka (ddr-csujad-29-14)
av An Oral History with Woodrow Odanaka (ddr-csujad-29-14)
Impressions of a Nisei concerning pre-World War II family produce business in Los Angeles, California; removal to Santa Anita Assembly Center in California, and the Granada incarceration camp in Colorado; wartime college experiences in Minnesota; and Army military intelligence duties in the Philippines and occupied Japan. This oral history was conducted for the Japanese American Oral …
[Soto Kitasaki in field] (ddr-csujad-29-165)
img [Soto Kitasaki in field] (ddr-csujad-29-165)
Photograph of Soto Kitasaki in a field doing agricultural work. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: P106
An Oral History with Mitsuo Nitta (ddr-csujad-29-4)
doc An Oral History with Mitsuo Nitta (ddr-csujad-29-4)
Oral history with Nisei farmer/businessman from pioneering Orange County, California family gives prewar biographical information with emphasis on Japanese Americans in Orange County. Discusses World War II forced removal, experiences in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and the role of the Japanese American Citizens League before and after World War II. This oral history was conducted …
An Oral History with Seiko Ishida (ddr-csujad-29-11)
av An Oral History with Seiko Ishida (ddr-csujad-29-11)
Retired Kibei teacher recounts samurai parents' background and their immigration to Seattle, Washington; socioeconomic composition of Seattle's Japanese community; earlier teacher training; prewar stays in Japan as a child and as a tutor in a missionary family; experiences as a teacher in the wartime resettlement in New York; and postwar return to Los Angeles. This oral …
Three women on a farm (ddr-densho-9-3)
img Three women on a farm (ddr-densho-9-3)
Left to right: Teruko Hoshino, Katsuyo Hoshino, and Mitsue Shiraishi.
Wagon with berry crates for shipping (ddr-densho-18-29)
img Wagon with berry crates for shipping (ddr-densho-18-29)
Wagon filled with berry crates at the Northern Pacific Railroad depot.
Hand-drawn map of prewar Auburn, Washington (ddr-densho-25-99)
doc Hand-drawn map of prewar Auburn, Washington (ddr-densho-25-99)
This map was drawn by Mae Iseri Yamada. It shows some of the Japanese-owned farms in the Auburn area before World War II.
Agreement to lease land (ddr-densho-25-92)
doc Agreement to lease land (ddr-densho-25-92)
This agreement to lease land was signed by A. J. Charleston and Matahichi Iseri. In the early 1900s, many states, led by California, enacted alien land laws. These laws aimed at Issei farmers prevented ownership of land by "aliens ineligible for citizenship." As a result, many Issei leased land from white farmers. In 1920, California enacted …
Transplanting produce in hotbeds (ddr-densho-18-57)
img Transplanting produce in hotbeds (ddr-densho-18-57)
When farm areas were flooded, it was sometimes necessary to transfer produce, as shown here.
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