Ikuo Shinmasu

Ikuo Shinmasu is from Kaminoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. In 1974, he started working at Teikoku Sanso Ltd (currently AIR LIQUIDE Japan GK) in Kobe and retired in 2015. Later, he studied history at Nihon University Distance Learning Division and researched his grandfather who migrated to Seattle. He shared a part of his thesis about his grandfather through the series, “Yoemon Shinmasu – My Grandfather’s Life in Seattle,” in the North American Post and Discover Nikkei in both English and Japanese. He presently lives in the city of Zushi, Kanagawa, with his wife and eldest son. 

Updated August 2021

education en ja

History of Seattle Nikkei Immigrants from The North American Times

Chapter 5: Expectations of the Japanese Consulate

In the last chapter, I introduced some notable people in Seattle's Japanese community who were featured in the column, “Ichinichi hitori hito iroiro” (One Person a Day – Let Us Introduce Them) of The North American Times in 1919. This chapter introduces some Japanese Consuls who were appointed by the Japanese Consulate in Seattle, which was established in 1901. * * * * * The role of the Japanese consulate was significant in its support of Japanese residents in Seattle. In chapter 1, I wrote about the establishment of the consulate in Seattle in 1901 and of the Japanese gov…

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community en ja

History of Seattle Nikkei Immigrants from The North American Times

Chapter 4—Notable People in Seattle

In the last chapter, I introduced some articles about the growth of Japanese businesses in Seattle in and after 1917. This time I would like to present articles about some notable people in Seattle. “One Person a Day – Let Us Introduce Them” (1919) In 1919, The North American Times published a column titled “Ichinichi hitori hito iroiro” (One Person a Day – Let Us Introduce Them) that featured notable people working in various fields in Seattle, one per day, from January to February. The articles introduced their accomplishments and unknown facts about th…

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community en ja

History of Seattle Nikkei Immigrants from The North American Times

Chapter 3—Seattle Development and Flourishing Japantown

In chapter 2, I introduced Manjiro Morita and Masajiro Furuya, who moved to Seattle around 1890 and were referred to as the “founding” Japanese. This chapter explores articles about Seattle’s rapid growth in and after 1917 and the flourishing of Japantown. Rapid Growth of Seattle Since World War I, the rapid growth of the military and the shipbuilding industries had turned Seattle into a significantly busy trading port, especially in the years after 1917. Its trade value (exports and imports) was the ninth in the states for four consecutive years from 1912 to 1916, but…

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community en ja

History of Seattle Nikkei Immigrants from The North American Times

Chapter 2—Seattle Japanese Pioneers

The first chapter featured articles related to the early days of Seattle from around 1850. Here, the focus is Japanese immigrants who first went to Seattle around 1890. The Pioneers of Japanese Businesses Around 1890, Japanese people began landing in Seattle and starting various businesses. These individuals laid the foundations for later Japanese society in the area. The 1928 edition of the Hokubei Nenkan (North American Yearbook) introduces the pioneers of Japanese businesses in Seattle. Manjiro Morita and Masajiro Furuya are two who are profiled in The North American Times abou…

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community en ja

History of Seattle Nikkei Immigrants from The North American Times

Chapter 1—19th Century Seattle and Nikkei Immigrants

The North American Times is a Japanese newspaper that was published in Seattle from 1902 until shortly after the United States’ entry into World War II. A microfilm archive is kept at the University of Washington (UW) Library. Scott Edward Harrison was a librarian at the East Asian Library, UW. In 2004, he researched the newspaper and archived what is available of it. From June 2019 to May 2020, the author serialized “Yoemon Shinmasu – My Grandfather’s Life in Seattle” in both English and Japanese on Discover Nikkei and the North American Post, the successor…

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