Title: "Social Standing of Nisei Same," Seattle Times, 6/5/1947, (ddr-densho-56-1175)
Densho ID: ddr-densho-56-1175


Although anti-Japanese sentiment has abated, 76 per cent of Seattle Nisei believe that social discrimination against them is at the same level as it was before the war, University of Washington sociologists reported today.

The figures were compiled in a joint report prepared by Dr. Robert W. O'Brien and Frank Miyamoto of the University's sociology department for the Seattle Civic Unity Committee and the University.

The term "social discrimination" was interpreted by Miyamoto as meaning "the failure of Caucasians to accept Nisei as normal members of the community."

"It means the Nisei feeling toward remarks overheard in public places, difficulties encountered when applying for jobs or housing and the discrimination evidenced when Japanese-Americans seek membership in clubs or ledges," Miyamoto said.

The survey was made among the Japanese-American population in Seattle, which now numbers slightly less than 4,700, Dr. O'Brien said. In answer to the question, "Compare social discrimination toward Japanese-Americans in Seattle with 1939-1941," 76 per cent of the Nisei said it was the "same"; 4 per cent said "more" and 20 per cent said "less."

Housing Is No Better

The same question was put before Issei (first-generation Japanese) and 71 per cent answered "the same," 4 per cent said "more" and 25 per cent answered "less."

Forty-two per cent of the Nisei said their housing was worse than in pre-evacuation days and an equal number said housing conditions "were the same." Only 16 per cent said living conditions were "better."

The survey showed the most radical changes in the Nisei community to have taken place in the occupational status of the population.

Nisei Businesses Drop

Dr. O'Brien pointed out that Nisei now place greater dependence upon Caucasions [Caucasians] for employment than on Japanese enterprises. He added that the number of Nisei-operated enterprises (truck farms, floral shops, etc.) has declined.

The Nisei study is the first in a series of surveys to be conducted on all minority groups in Seattle, Dr. O'Brien said.