Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/journal/series/north-american-times/

History of Seattle Nikkei Immigrants from The North American Times


Aug. 18, 2021 - May 21, 2024

This series explores the history of pre-war Seattle Nikkei immigrants by researching old articles from the online archives of The North American Times, a joint project between the Hokubei Hochi [North American Post] Foundation and the University of Washington (UW) Suzzallo Library.

*The English version of this series is a collaboration between Discover Nikkei and The North American Post, Seattle’s bilingual community newspaper.

Read from Chapter 1 >>

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The North American Times

The newspaper was first printed in Seattle on September 1, 1902, by publisher Kiyoshi Kumamoto from Kagoshima, Kyushu. At its peak, it had correspondents in Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Spokane, Vancouver, and Tokyo, with a daily circulation of about 9,000 copies. Following the start of World War II, Sumio Arima, the publisher at the time, was arrested by the FBI. The paper was discontinued on March 14, 1942, when the incarceration of Japanese American families began. After the war, the North American Times was revived as The North American Post.



Stories from this series

Thumbnail for Chapter 17 (Part 2) — The Nisei Girls’ Japan Delegation Tours
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Chapter 17 (Part 2) — The Nisei Girls’ Japan Delegation Tours

Dec. 14, 2023 • Ikuo Shinmasu

Read Chapter 17 (Part 1) >> Touring in Kobe on November 7, 1939 “A Day in Kobe, Taiyo Delegation” by Akira Maeda” (February 5, 1940 issue1) We visited several locations in Kobe city, touring well-known historical sites by bus that were specifically arranged for us. I was surprised to find that Kobe had so many historical sites. At night, we enjoyed a Japanese feast at Enmeitei, which is a restaurant that many would call top-tier in Kobe. After dinner we …

Thumbnail for Chapter 17 (Part 1) — The Nisei Girls’ Japan Delegation Tours
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Chapter 17 (Part 1) — The Nisei Girls’ Japan Delegation Tours

Dec. 13, 2023 • Ikuo Shinmasu

In the last chapter, I wrote about the activities of the Kibei Japanese American Citizens League. This chapter will report on the Nisei Girls’ Japan Delegation Tours. These Nisei girls who were born in the United States learned the Japanese language, culture, and customs at Japanese schools and from their parents, but they did not understand Japan very well. To help them experience what Japan was actually like, multiple tour groups were formed around 1939 and 1940. These groups stayed in …

Thumbnail for Chapter 16 (Part 2) — Activities of Kibei Japanese American Citizens League
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Chapter 16 (Part 2) — Activities of Kibei Japanese American Citizens League

Nov. 9, 2023 • Ikuo Shinmasu

Read Part 1 >> Activities of the Kibei JACL “Nikkei Cooking Classes” (August 28, 1934 issue) The female department of the Kibei JACL will have Japanese cooking classes at Nikkoro every Thursday starting in September. Some sources state that this female department of the Kibei JACL was formed at the extraordinary general meeting which was held two weeks after the establishment of the Kibei JACL in 1932. “Fall Great Performance Show by Kibei Nikkei” (October 28, 1935 issue) The Kibei …

Thumbnail for Chapter 16 (Part 1) — Activities of Kibei Japanese American Citizens League
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Chapter 16 (Part 1) — Activities of Kibei Japanese American Citizens League

Nov. 2, 2023 • Ikuo Shinmasu

In the last chapter I wrote about the JACL (Japanese American Citizens League) where Nisei became politically active and in this part I would like to feature the activities of the Kibei JACL which was established by Kibei Nisei. Among Nisei were a group of people called Kibei Nikkei. Kibei Nikkei are the Japanese Americans who moved to Japan in their childhood and grew up there and re-entered the U.S. later in life. Many of them were “dual citizenship holders” who …

Thumbnail for Chapter 15 (Part 2) — Nisei’s Political Involvement in the Japanese American Citizens League
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Chapter 15 (Part 2) — Nisei’s Political Involvement in the Japanese American Citizens League

Sept. 6, 2023 • Ikuo Shinmasu

Read Chapter 15—Part 1 >> Establishment of Mothers’ Committee “JACL’s Mothers’ Committee and Its First Meeting” (March 16, 1939 issue) For the purpose of promoting mutual understanding and cooperation between mothers and daughters, the JACL has decided to form Mothers’ Committee, and its first meeting will be held on the coming 20th. They are expecting many mothers across all women’s organizations to attend, as they plan to host discussion sessions in a not-too-distant future for them to exchange opinions on …

Thumbnail for Chapter 15 (Part 1 ) — Nisei’s Political Involvement in the Japanese American Citizens League
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Chapter 15 (Part 1 ) — Nisei’s Political Involvement in the Japanese American Citizens League

Sept. 5, 2023 • Ikuo Shinmasu

In the last chapter, I wrote about the university that Nisei attended. In this chapter, I would like to focus on the Japanese American Citizens League where Nisei actively got involved in politics. As their Nisei children grew older, the Issei parents expected the Nisei, who had the U.S. citizenship, to get involved in political activities. In September 1921, the North American Japanese Committee held a general meeting for establishing the Japanese American Citizens League where 13 Nikkei citizens with the …

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Author in This Series

Ikuo Shinmasu is from Kaminoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. In 1974, he started working at Teikoku Sanso Ltd (currently AIR LIQUIDE Japan GK) in Kobe and retired in 2015. Later, he studied history at Nihon University Distance Learning Division and researched his grandfather who migrated to Seattle. He shared a part of his thesis about his grandfather through the series, “Yoemon Shinmasu – My Grandfather’s Life in Seattle,” in the North American Post and Discover Nikkei in both English and Japanese. He presently lives in the city of Zushi, Kanagawa, with his wife and eldest son. 

Updated August 2021