Dates in Japanese Immigration and History

Japanese Americans
Significant Dates in Immigration and History

Year Periods and Events U.S. Population
1868 Japanese immigrants to Hawaii as contract laborers. 141
1869 Japanese immigrants arrive in California; Wakamatsu Colony on Gold Hill.
1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, stops immigration from China; increased demand for JA immigrants to West Coast.
1906 San Francisco School Board places children of “Mongoloid” ancestry in segregated schools. 24,300
1900 – 1920 Primary period of Japanese immigration to the U.S.; population of married women jumps from 410 in 1900 to 22,193 in 1920.
1908 Gentleman’s Agreement, Japan will not issue visas to Japanese laborers but wives, children, and families are allowed. 72,100
1913 California, “aliens ineligible for citizenship” prohibited from land ownership; only “free white persons” eligible for citizenship; 3 year limit on land leases; similar laws in ten other states.
1922 Cable Act, anyone marrying an Issei loses citizenship (repealed in 1936). 111,000
1924 Immigration Exclusion Act ends all Asian immigration except Filipinos.
1937 U.S. breaks off relations with Japan after invasion of Nationalist China.
1941 Japan attacks U.S. fleet and military base in Pearl Harbor; U.S. declares war on Japan, Germany, Italy; incarceration of JA community leaders. 126,900
1942 JA of draft age declared “enemy aliens”; Pres. Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066, JA exclusion from West Coast; incarceration of 120,000 JAs in “relocation centers.”
1943 – 1944 Military recruitment for all-JA combat unit, 442nd RCT activated; internees denied right to vote; confusing loyalty questionnaire administered in camps causes family conflicts; 200 men convicted and sentenced to 3 yrs in prison for refusing induction.
1945 45,000 Japanese war brides enter the U.S.
1946 U.S. drops atomic bombs on Hiroshima/Nagasaki, ends war with Japan; JA resettlement on West Coast; meet with hostility/housing shortages.
1952 – 1956 Walter-McCarran Immigration and Naturalization Act passed, Asian immigrants allowed to become naturalized citizens; repeal of Alien Land Laws in California.
1959 Hawaii becomes 50th state; First JA, Daniel Inouye, elected to Congress. 464,000
1980 Commission on Wartime Relocation/Internment of Civilians reviews Executive Order 9066 constitutionality, reports “personal justice denied”
1988 Civil Liberties Act, apology/payment of $20,000 to 60,000 survivors.
1990 First apologies and redress payments sent to survivors, oldest first. 847,500 (105,900 are 65+)
Source: Yeo, G., Hikoyeda, N., McBride, M., Chin, S-Y., Edmonds, M. & Hendrix, L., 1998