Okina Kyūin and the Politics of Early Japanese Immigration to the United States, 1868–1924

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About the Book

Okina Kyūin boarded the steamship Kaga Maru at the port of Yokohama in 1907, bound for America. For this ambitious young man, Japanese-American newspapers were an invaluable medium for communicating his opinions on important social issues and documenting everyday life in his community.
His vivid articles and stories established him as an essential voice among Japanese immigrants. This book examines Okina’s life on the American West Coast in the context of U.S.–Japanese diplomatic relations between 1868 and 1924.

About the Author(s)

Ikuko Torimoto is a native of Japan and associate professor of modern languages and literature at St. Norbert College, De Pere, Wisconsin.

Bibliographic Details

Ikuko Torimoto
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 368
Bibliographic Info: 49 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6433-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2734-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments ix

Foreword by Wayne Patterson 1

Preface 3

Part One. Japanese Exploration of the Western World:

Early Japanese Visitors to Europe and the Americas 11

 1. Date Masamune’s Odyssey: Exploring the Outside World

in the Early Edo Period 12

 2. Dispatch of Embassies and Students to the West 23

 3. Chinese Crossing the Pacific Ocean 29

 4. John Henry Schnell Leads the First Japanese Emigrants

to North America 33

 5. Early Japanese Pioneers in the United States 48

 6. Japanese Students in the United States 54

Part Two. Okina Kyūin on the American West Coast,

1907–1924 70

 7. Okina Kyūin, an Extraordinary Japanese 71

 8. Cultural Journalism on the American West Coast 73

 9. Seattle, Washington, 1907–1908 76

10. ­Nihonjin-machi (Japantown) in Seattle 78

11. Bremerton, 1908–1909 84

12. Japanese-American Newspapers in Seattle 86

13. The ­End-of-the-Year Dinner: The Zabuton (Japanese Sitting Cushion) Incident 91

14. A Literary Man’s Play 93

15. In Portland and Astoria, 1910–1911 94

16. “Satō no Himitsu” (Satō’s Secret Life Story) 97

17. “Yonkagetsuhan” (Four and a Half Months) 103

18. Aspiration to Write for ­Japanese-American Newspapers 104

19. Return to Japan, 1913–1914 107

20. Back to Seattle 110

21. Okina and the Furuya Company (1914) 118

22. Life in Stockton (1914–1917) 120

23. Stockton’s Japantown 121

24. Okina’s Wife Arrives in San Francisco 123

25. Shashin Kekkon: Picture Brides 127

26. The Stockton Nihonjinkai (Japanese Association of Stockton) 131

27. Ushijima Kinji, President of the Zaibei Nihonjinkai 132

28. Okina Visits Mizutani Bangoku of the Ōfu Nippō (The Sacramento Daily News) 134

29. Editor of the Ōfu Nippō at Stockton 136

30. “Jun Iminchi Bungaku no Bokkō Jidai” (Time of the Coming of Age of Real Immigrant Literature) 139

31. “Kakeochi” (Runaway) 141

32. “Aku no Hikage” (Shadow of Evil) 142

33. Journalists from Leading Newspaper Companies in Japan 143

34. Florin, 1916–1917 149

35. Life in Oakland, 1917–1924 153

36. Oakland’s Japantown 155

37. Secretary of the Oakland Nihonjinkai (Japanese Association of Oakland) 160

38. Many Visitors 163

39. A Most Distinguished and Influential Japanese American,

Abiko Kyūtarō 166

40. Editor of the Nichi Bei (The Japanese American News) 170

41. “Sukesan wa Doko e Iku?” (Where Does ­Suke-san Go?) 171

42. “Kusareen” (An Unseverable Relationship) 173

43. The Literary Portrayal of Japanese Immigrant Women in the U.S. 177

44. Okina Becomes a Father 185

45. The 1921–1922 Washington Conference 187

46. “Oyagoroshi” (Killing One’s Parents) and “Nihonjin no Ko” (Children of Japanese Parents) 199

Part Three. The Japanese Government’s Policy on Emigration to the United States 207

47. Japanese-American Diplomatic Relations: The First Japanese Consulate 208

48. Early Diplomacy: From the Kanyaku Imin Period to the Annexation of Hawai‘i in July 1898 214

49. Japanese Immigrant Settlements in California, 1885–1907, and the Gentlemen’s Agreement 226

50. The ­Anti-Japanese Movement in California and the 1913 Alien Land Law 238

51. Further Immigration Bills, 1917–1924, and Continued Negotiations 251

Conclusion 290

Appendix: A Chronology of Okina Kyūin’s Publications 299

Chapter Notes 329

Bibliography 331

Index 345