History of Seattle Nikkei Immigrants from The North American Times

This series explores the history of pre-war Seattle Nikkei immigrants by researching old articles from the online archives of The North American Times, a joint project between the Hokubei Hochi [North American Post] Foundation and the University of Washington (UW) Suzzallo Library.

*The English version of this series is a collaboration between Discover Nikkei and The North American Post, Seattle’s bilingual community newspaper.

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The North American Times

The newspaper was first printed in Seattle on September 1, 1902, by publisher Kiyoshi Kumamoto from Kagoshima, Kyushu. At its peak, it had correspondents in Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Spokane, Vancouver, and Tokyo, with a daily circulation of about 9,000 copies. Following the start of World War II, Sumio Arima, the publisher at the time, was arrested by the FBI. The paper was discontinued on March 14, 1942, when the incarceration of Japanese American families began. After the war, the North American Times was revived as The North American Post.

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Chapter 10 (Part 4) History of the North American Times – Sumiyoshi Arima, Chairman of the Japanese Association and Journalist

The last part shared articles by a female employee of the North American Times, the 5000th anniversary issue and the increase of the subscription fee. This part features articles of Sumiyoshi Arima as Chairman of the Japanese Association and a newspaper reporter.


After Sumikiyo Arima retired, his eldest son, Sumiyoshi Arima, took over the position of president and publisher of The North American Times. He also became chairman of the Nihonjinkai (Japanese Association) in 1932; staying active in the Seattle Japanese community. 

On March 3, 1938, Sumiyoshi Arima was re-elected as …

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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.


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 machine cannot run without oil. No matter how priestly a …

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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.


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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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. 


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” - Kuranosuke Hiraide), Juji Yadagai, and Ichiro Yamamoto …

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Chapter 9 (Part 2) — Flourishing Japanese Hotel Businesses

Read Chapter 9 (Part 1) >> 


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 100-plus hotels, all of which are run by Japanese. …

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communities hotel business immigrants Japanese newspaper newspapers North American Times pre-war prewar Seattle