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 (439)
Agriculture (697)

Related articles from the Densho Encyclopedia :
Seabrook Farms

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697 items
Mother and son in front of trucks (ddr-densho-60-2)
img Mother and son in front of trucks (ddr-densho-60-2)
Rick Sato's mother and son. On the left is a packing shed.
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.
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.
Natsuhara & Sons warehouse (ddr-densho-18-10)
img Natsuhara & Sons warehouse (ddr-densho-18-10)
Jack Natsuhara in front of the Natsuhara & Sons warehouse, which was also used as a fertilizer mixing plant.
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 …
Children on a farm (ddr-densho-28-9)
img Children on a farm (ddr-densho-28-9)
The Suguro farm was located in the Midlakes area of Bellevue, Washington. Front (left to right): Sumie and Toshi Suguro. Back: Mae Suguro, Eva Aramaki, and Mitsue Suguro.
Berry Association Committee building (ddr-densho-34-64)
img Berry Association Committee building (ddr-densho-34-64)
Mr. Geo T. Masukawa and his dog in front of the building where the Berry Association Committee met. The berry cannery would later occupy this site.
Berry cannery (ddr-densho-34-91)
img Berry cannery (ddr-densho-34-91)
This berry cannery was located at the end of Weaver Road on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Front (left to right): J. Nakata, S. Moritani, O. Koura, I. Hayashida, Mr. Masukawa, S. Sakai, Mrs. Moritani, and T. Moritani. Back: Nels Christensen, unidentified, and Mr. Matsumoto. The La Blanca is at the dock, ready to be loaded with berries …
Current view of barn on former Issei dairy farm (ddr-densho-35-35)
img Current view of barn on former Issei dairy farm (ddr-densho-35-35)
An Issei couple operated a large dairy farm in a town formerly known as Days, Washington. With the advent of World War II, the they were forced to sell their farm for a fraction of its worth. This is the barn that housed most of the cows once owned by couple. Days, Washington no longer exists. …
Current view of barn on former Issei dairy farm (ddr-densho-35-48)
img Current view of barn on former Issei dairy farm (ddr-densho-35-48)
An Issei couple operated a large dairy farm in a town formerly known as Days, Washington. The 1,300 acre farm had a property line that extended beyond the area shown here. With the advent of World War II, the couple was forced to sell their property for a fraction of its worth. This is part of …
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