In This Great Land of Freedom: The Japanese Pioneers of Oregon

Item # 231554.

By Lawson Fusao Inada, Akemi Kikumura, Mary Worthington, Eiichiro Azuma.

Published in conjunction with an exhibition developed collaboratively with the Oregon community. Includes original poetry by Japanese American poet laureate Lawson Fusao Inada and rare photographs of pre-war Issei life in the Northwest.

Between 1843 and 1860, more than 250,000 pioneers began the journey west across the Oregon Trail. In 1859, Oregon became one of the United States and was still a young state with undeveloped forests and virgin farmlands when the Japanese immigrants arrived in the 1880s. Called Issei, the first generation, Japanese immigrants, like all pioneers, struggled to survive in their new environment. Unlike most other immigrants, the Issei were classified as "aliens ineligible to citizenship" under American naturalization laws. They had to combat social and legal discrimination while they worked to create farms, businesses and communities for themselves and their children. Until today, the history of this courageous racial minority has been largely ignored. Using primarily Japanese-language sources, this essay uncovers some of the forgotten history of the Oregon Issei and narrates their experiences as "aliens ineligible to citizenship" from 1880 to 1952.

Paper: 48 pp.

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