14 Facts About Issei


The term Issei represented the idea of beginning, a psychological transformation relating to being settled, having a distinctive community, and the idea of belonging to the new country.

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Issei settled in close ethnic communities, and therefore did not learn English.

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The Issei women lived lives of transition which were affected by three common factors: the dominant ideology of late Meiji Japan, which advanced the economic objectives of the Japanese state; the patriarchal traditions of the agricultural village, which arose partly as a form of adjustment to national objectives and the adjustment to changes imposed by modernization; and the constraints which arose within a Canadian or American society dominated by racist ideology.

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Substantive evidence of the working lives of Issei women is very difficult to find, partly for lack of data and partly because the data that do exist are influenced by their implicit ideological definition of women.

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Kanreki, a traditional, pre-modern Japanese rite of passage to old age at 60, was sometimes celebrated by the Issei and is being celebrated by increasing numbers of Nisei.

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Issei were born in Japan, and their cultural perspective was primarily Japanese; but they were in America by choice.

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Many of the Issei responded to the law by transferring title to their land to their Nisei children.

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Many Issei were in fact better educated than either the Japanese or American public.

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The only exceptions were that some young Issei committed crimes relating to gambling and prostitution, which stemmed from different cultural morals in Japan.

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The Issei were displeased with the situation and some reported to Japanese newspapers.

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The Issei were a role model of American citizens by being hardworking, law-abiding, devoted to family and the community.

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The experiences of the Issei extend from well before the period before 1 July 1924, when the Japanese Exclusion Act came into effect.

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Issei were very good at enhancing rice farming on "unusable" land.

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The largest Issei community settled around Vacaville, California, near San Francisco.

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