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 14 (Part 1)–Nisei and Their College Education
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Chapter 14 (Part 1)–Nisei and Their College Education

July 6, 2023 • Ikuo Shinmasu

In the last chapter, I wrote about the problem of Nisei’s dual citizenship and their marriage. This chapter shares The North American Times articles1 about colleges that Nisei attended. Many Niseis went to college, which is a higher educational institution in America. They learned and acquired state-of-the-art technology and knowledge in hopes of later being able to contribute to the Nikkei community. ADMISSION TO THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON We can find the history of the University of Washington (UW) in …

Thumbnail for Chapter 13 (Part 2)—Nisei Dual Citizenship and Marriage Issues
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Chapter 13 (Part 2)—Nisei Dual Citizenship and Marriage Issues

June 12, 2023 • Ikuo Shinmasu

Read Chapter 13 (Part 1) >> PERSPECTIVES ON NISEI IN THE UNITED STATES I would like to introduce interesting articles about how Nisei in the U.S. were viewed by Japanese in Japan and the American public as well as how Nisei in the U.S. viewed Japan. 1. A Viewpoint of a Japanese Female Student on Nisei in the United States “Her View on Nisei – Perception of Japanese Living in the United States to Their Homeland is From Meiji and …

Thumbnail for Chapter 13 (Part 1)—Nisei Dual Citizenship and Marriage Issues
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Chapter 13 (Part 1)—Nisei Dual Citizenship and Marriage Issues

June 11, 2023 • Ikuo Shinmasu

In the last chapter, I discussed Japanese language schools. This chapter features the issues of dual citizenship and marriage that the Nisei faced as they came of age. When the Nisei were born, their Issei parents submitted a birth certificate to the United States. Many registered births at the Japanese Consulate at the same time. Therefore, many Nisei held dual nationality. When the Nisei came of age, however, they had to confront the compelling decisions of which nationality to keep and/or …

Thumbnail for Chapter 12 (Part 2): Nisei Education in Japanese Schools
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Chapter 12 (Part 2): Nisei Education in Japanese Schools

April 27, 2023 • Ikuo Shinmasu

Read Chapter 12 (Part 1) >> PROBLEMS OF TEXTBOOKS One of the North American Times1 articles (Feb. 13, 1919 issue) talks about the discuission about the textbooks that should be used at the Seattle Japanese school.   There has been discussion on the need for textbook editing and compilation at the Seattle Japanese School. After a series of meetings and discussions by the educational affairs committee, and with the opinions of teachers at Japanese schools in different parts of Washington State …

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Chapter 12 (Part 1): Nisei Education in Japanese Schools

April 26, 2023 • Ikuo Shinmasu

Many Nisei were born as a result of picture marriages, which I wrote about in the last chapter of this series. Providing Japanese education for America-born children thus became an important mission of the Japanese community in Seattle. In this chapter, I will write about the Seattle Japanese School that was founded for the Japanese language education of the Nisei. ESTABLISHMENT OF SEATTLE JAPANESE SCHOOL In 1902, the Seattle Nihonjin-kai (Japanese Association) established the Seattle Nihonjin-kai Affiliated Elementary School as …

Thumbnail for Chapter 11 (Part 2) Picture-Bride Marriages on the Rise
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Chapter 11 (Part 2) Picture-Bride Marriages on the Rise

Jan. 6, 2023 • Ikuo Shinmasu

Read Chapter 11 (Part 1) >> HIGH BIRTH RATE OF JAPANESE In the column “The Rise and Fall of Main Street” (From the Jan. 1, 1939 issue), which I introduced in Chapter 11 - Part 1, Akatonbo Nakamura describes the sharp increase of newborns, based on the number of Japanese reported by Seattle Teikoku (Imperial) Consulate General of Japan within its boundary. “After 1910, a period of about ten years was the golden era for midwives, with the number of …

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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