Akemi Kikumura Yano

Akemi Kikumura Yano is a Visiting Scholar at the University of California at Los Angeles, Asian American Studies Center.  She holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from UCLA and is an award-winning author, curator, and playwright, best known for her book Through Harsh Winters:  The Life of an Immigrant Woman.

Updated February 2012

migration en ja es pt

Encyclopedia of Nikkei Migration

Canada - Migration Historical Overview

Most Nikkei immigrated to Canada between the 1890s and the 1920s, although the first Japanese in Canada was recorded in 1877. Early immigrants worked in the lumber and mining industries, fishery and agriculture in British Columbia. Japanese immigration peaked between 1905 and 1907, which exacerbated anti-Japanese racism.

The demand for Japanese exclusion led to the Hayashi-Lemieux “Gentlemen’s Agreement” of 1908, which reduced the yearly admission of Japanese laborers to four hundred. Subsequent years saw the influx of “picture brides” since the immediate family members of Nikkei residents were still allowed to immigrate to Canada. However, by 1928 Japanese immigration was …

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migration en ja es pt

Encyclopedia of Nikkei Migration

Brazil - Migration Historical Overview

Japanese immigrants first came to Brazil in June 1908. These families worked on coffee plantations under contract to coffee planters in search of cheap labor. After the United States closed its door to Japanese immigration in 1924, the Japanese government facilitated the accelerated immigration of Japanese into Brazil.

However, life was so unbearable that most Japanese left the plantations for urban areas, suburbs, or new Japanese farm settlements. São Paulo city and its surrounding areas were the main areas of concentration.

By the 1930s, the Brazilian government became increasingly wary of Japanese residents, culminating in the introduction of a quota …

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migration en ja es pt

Encyclopedia of Nikkei Migration

Bolivia - Migration Historical Overview

Prior to the 1950s, most Japanese entered Bolivia as common laborers through Peru. In 1899, the Mapiri River region in La Paz witnessed the first entry of ninety-one Japanese laborers to work on rubber plantations.

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Thereafter, the highland Andes continued to attract a few hundred more Japanese, who found employment in mining and railroad construction. The inland Amazon emerged as the second major destination for the workers, who also came through Peru to work on rubber plantations in northwestern Bolivia.

The end of World War I and the Great Depression displaced Japanese laborers in the rubber and mining industries …

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migration en ja es pt

Encyclopedia of Nikkei Migration

Argentina - Migration Historical Overview

Argentine Nikkei history began in 1908-09 with the arrival of immigrants from Okinawa and Kagoshima—the major prefectural origins of Argentine Nikkei. The first Japanese entered the country via Brazil, and succeeding groups of immigrants tended to reach Argentina through the neighboring nations.

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In the prewar years, Nikkei were concentrated in urban small businesses, especially dry cleaning and cafes in Buenos Aires, while some worked as domestic servants, factory workers, and longshoremen. A minority of Japanese also engaged in horticulture, floriculture, and fishery. In regions with a substantial Japanese population, institutions such as prefectural associations and Japanese language schools were …

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community en ja

Issei Pioneers - Hawaii and the Mainland 1885-1924 - Part 26 (Final part)

Read Part 25 >> 

ISSEI PIONEERS 

For many Issei, their temporary stay had stretched into ten, twenty years and more, with the youth they had brought to America now spent.

One Day
I found my father
In the mirror
.1

Some found "money trees" and returned to Japan. Others migrated to Mexico of Manchuria looking for better opportunities. Many more decided to sink their roots and settle in America. 

Getting used to it,
America, now for me
The best place to live
.2 

Quite a few died alone in cheap boarding houses and nursing homes …

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