For a long time, immigration from Japan was forbidden by the Japanese government and began only in 80’s of the 19th century. In search of work poor Japanese were recruited on Hawaiian sugar plantations, looking for work in Canada, South America and the United States. In 1800, there were 2039 Japanese in the United States, in 1900, there were 24,236, and in 1910, there were 72,157. Japanese settled in the western states. California had 73.8% of Japan’s total population in the U.S.
From the very beginning, the Japanese immigration to the United States was faced with anti-Japanese propaganda. In 1907, between the United States and Japan “gentleman’s agreement” was signed, according to which Japanese job seekers were not allowed to enter the country. The anti-Japanese sentiments were fueled by a lively agitation, which was conducted in the interests of large land and industrial companies. The public were told that some of the national characteristics of the Japanese supposedly gave them an advantage over American landowners, workers and traders.
Japanese settlers, hardworking and united, have done a lot for the development of agriculture in the west of the United States. They grew new crops and turned the desert into fertile wetlands with blossoming gardens.
Before the Second World War, 55% of the Japanese in the Pacific coast states lived in cities. Here they were driven from rural areas by law in 1913. For economic reasons, but even more because of the racial discrimination, they were concentrated in particular neighborhoods.
In the Japanese American families there were patriarchal foundations. The power of the man, the head of the family, was very great. The wife was obliged to look after the house, raise children, please her mother in law, and above all honor her master – a husband. A man should have hidden his feelings, not to show weakness, tenderness to the wife. Desirable children were boys. According to American ethnographers, fear of a baby girl often brought women to hysteria. Japanese immigrants mainly married to Japanese. They either choose brides, who settled in America, or went for some time to Japan to get married.
Children of the Japanese Americans were brought up in a strict obedience. They were taught to show restraint, the gestures were forbidden during speaking, as well as laughing.
Grown children worked with their parents and their income went into a common family budget. Many children from wealthy families who were born in the United States, were raised in Japan, and then came back to the United States. This system of education perpetuates the Japanese customs in wealthy Japanese Americans families.
For a long time, immigration from Japan was forbidden by the Japanese government and began only in 80’s of the 19th century. In search of work poor Japanese were recruited on Hawaiian sugar plantations, looking for work in Canada, South America and the United States. In 1800, there were 2039 Japanese in the United States, in 1900, there were 24,236, and in 1910, there were 72,157.