The Japanese American Family Album

The Japanese American Family Album

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Description

The first Japanese immigrants to the United States came to Hawaii to work on sugar plantations, quickly followed by others who came to mainland cities. Their images of America were formed by popular guidebooks with titles such as Mysterious America and Come, Japanese! that promised, "Gold, silver, and gems are scattered on [the] streets. If you can figure out a way of picking them up, you'll become rich instantly." The Japanese arrived with the hope of making a better life for themselves. Their experiences, however, were often far different from what they had expected. The Japanese American Family Album documents the lives of generations of Japanese immigrants through their own diaries, letters, interviews, photographs, articles from newspapers and magazines, and personal reflections. This personal history tells us-in their own words-what it was like to leave the beloved homeland for a life as different from life at home as could be imagined. The Issei-members of the first generation of Japanese immigrants-faced racial prejudice and even laws that effectively stopped Japanese immigration from 1924 until 1965. By then there were well over 100,000 Japanese immigrants on the U.S. mainland who daily faced unfamiliar customs, terrible working conditions, and strong anti-Japanese sentiment. Even in the face of such adversity, Japanese Americans formed labor unions, successfully purchased land and built farms, and established flourishing communities in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Fresno, Portland, Seattle, Tacoma, and Salt Lake City, as well as the Hawaiian cities of Honolulu and Hilo. The very success of these farmers and other Japanese immigrants caused jealousy and fear, and the Album also tells of anti-Japanese groups, boycotts against Japanese shops and businesses, discriminatory laws, and even violence. With World War II came the nightmare of the concentration camps, and then the struggle to heal the many wounds caused by internment. A strong sense of family, religion, and a resilient spirit allowed Japanese Americans to survive the prejudice in their new homeland. Profiles of noted Japanese Americans such as Daniel K. Inouye, Patsy Takemoto Mink, and astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka are testaments to the success the Japanese American community has achieved. The heartfelt words and remarkable family photos in The Japanese American Family Album tell a true American story that is an important part of our history. Eighty-eight year old Osuke Takizawa, who emigrated to the U.S. as a young man, says in The Japanese American Family Album, "I believe children and grandchildren must know the way their grandparents walked." The precious stories and pictures of the Japanese Americans from our past and present show us the way.show more

Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 128 pages
  • 216.9 x 279.7 x 11.9mm | 477.74g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 158 b/w illus.
  • 0195124235
  • 9780195124231

Review quote

A treasure trove of information, pictures, and history of Japanese Americans in the United States... A book that anyone could look at and read with delight and satisfaction. It is a wonderfully painless way of learning a great deal about the Japanese American background. Pacific Reader A good source for first-hand testimony on a number of issues affecting Japanese Americans ranging from the exploitation of the new immigrants to working in the fields to prejudice to picture brides... This book is an excellent place to start exploring the Japanese American experience. VOYA One of [the book's] strengths lies in the hundreds of black and white photographs, which add a very personal touch to a history filled with racial discrimination... Will be an eye opener for readers who have no understanding of how people of Japanese ancestry came to the United States and how badly they were treated. Social Education Captures the broad sweep of the Japanese American experience... The subjects of the photos...invite readers into their lives and share with them their fears and hopes as they settle into their new land. School Library Journal A personal and moving documentary. Children's Bookwatch A combination photo album and family chronicle. Fascinating stories emerge. Booklistshow more

About Dorothy Hoobler

Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler have published more than 50 books for children and adults. Their works have been honored by the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, the National Council for the Social Studies, and the Society of School Librarians International. They live in New York City.show more

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