Japanese American Immigrants

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The first Japanese Americans emigrated to the U.S. mostly as the second or third sons of the family in search of a new economic future similar to other immigrants. Primogeniture was still in practice in the late 1800’s, so the eldest son inherited the entire estate, leaving the other sons at the mercy of their own resourcefulness. These fortune seekers settled along the western states as farmers and farm laborers amid high anti-Chinese sentiment. They’re willingness to work for lower wages in poor conditions created a split labor market and as a result, they endured extreme hostility and physical attacks from union members representing the manufacturing and service industries. They experienced legal discrimination in the forms of denial of citizenship and denial of land ownership as non-whites. California laws in 1920 even kept them from being guardians of their U.S. born children’s property, as well as, from leasing land in any way. Despite these efforts, their keen agricultural knowledge afforded them the skills necessary to continue as tenant or truck farmers through 1941 with moderate success. California even attempted to segregate schoolchildren which made international headlines and eventually led to Japanese being…show more content…
Therefore, it did not surprise me that half of all Japanese Americans live in on the west coast or in Hawaii. After World War II, they worked very hard to “fit in”, sometimes changing their names and distancing themselves publicly from their Japanese heritage. Amazingly, they synchronously have held onto their traditional values privately and maintained core traditional skills and rituals (Constable, 2012). I assess that some of their ability to thrive at assimilating may also be due to their cultural emphasis on conformity and desire to avoid
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