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

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History of Seattle Nikkei Immigrants from The North American Times

Chapter 10 (Part 3) History of The North American Times: Voices of a Female Employee and the 5000th Anniversary Issue

Previously, I introduced the contributors to the North American Times and its employees. This part shares articles by its female employee, the 5000th anniversary issue, and the increase of subscription fee. OPINION FROM A FEMALE EMPLOYEE This is an article by a female editor, Shikako Takatani, who worked as a corresponding writer in Montana. “Newspapers, Reporters, Readers, and Contributors” (From Mar. 29, 1918 issue) “I have something to ask you all, while encouraging efforts of the newspaper publisher. Even if the newspaper owner has a contributory spirit, the mach…

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History of Seattle Nikkei Immigrants from The North American Times

Chapter 10 (Part 2) History of The North American Times: Expanding Circle of Contributors and the Employees

In the last part, I wrote about how The North American Times was launched, and in this part, I will introduce articles about the expanding circle of contributors and those who worked at The North American Times. EXTENDED CIRCLE OF CONTRIBUTORS  Even after the Arima family took over the North American Times, the founding members and former editors stayed involved in the publishing of the paper. Also, it seems that even after editorial staff left, many of them remained writing for the paper, from different locations. “The North American Times Credit List” (From the Jan 1, …

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History of Seattle Nikkei Immigrants from The North American Times

Chapter 10 (Part 1) History of the North American Times—Early Days

In the last chapter, I wrote about the development of the Japanese hotel industry. In this chapter, I will share articles about Japanese newspapers, especially about the North American Times. In the first part of Chapter 10, I review articles that describe the early days of the North American Times.  BIRTH OF JAPANESE NEWSPAPERS In the early 20th century, as the Japanese community grew in Seattle, various Japanese newspapers appeared. Kiyoshi Kumamoto, a dentist, and Kuranosuke Hiraide, the founder of Hiraide Store (Reference: “Chapter 4—Notable People in Seattle&…

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History of Seattle Nikkei Immigrants from The North American Times

Chapter 9 (Part 2) — Flourishing Japanese Hotel Businesses

Read Chapter 9 (Part 1) >>  COMPLAINTS AGAINST JAPANESE HOTEL BUSINESSES In the midst of such developments, the North American Times published quite a few articles on people complaining about the high prices of hotel rooms and the excessive buying and selling of hotels. At the same time, it published ones praising the development of hotel businesses. “Domination of Japanese Hotels Could Be Root of Future Trouble” (From the Oct. 16, 1918 issue) “There are about 250 hotels that are owned by Japanese. From the waterfront to Seventh Avenue, you can find 1…

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History of Seattle Nikkei Immigrants from The North American Times

Chapter 9 (Part 1) — Flourishing Japanese Hotel Businesses

In the last chapter, I introduced some historical articles about the growth of Japanese barbershop businesses in Seattle beginning in 1917. In this chapter, I discuss the development of Japanese hotel businesses in Seattle in two parts. HISTORY OF JAPANESE HOTEL BUSINESSES As I reported in Chapter 2, the Japanese hotel business in Seattle was started by Manjiro Morita in 1896. Beginning in 1900, the number of hotels run by Japanese continued to grow with the increase in the Seattle population. Eihan Okiyama, chairperson of the Japanese Hotel Industry Union, explained how the Japanese hotel …

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