Historical Timeline of Japanese American

Contents

Project Description

Scholars

Institutional Participants

Resources
Demographics1
Demographics2
Overview
Timelines
Directories

Symposium

Staff and Advisors

English Japanese

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Japanese American
National Museum


1885
The Chinese Exclusion Act is enacted, causing influx of Japanese immigrants into the U.S. From the 1890s, Japanese immigrants are deemed "aliens ineligible to citizenship."
 
1885
(18th year of Meiji) Mass immigration of Japanese to Hawai'i starts due to the increased need for labor on sugar plantations. Between 1885 and 1924, nearly 300,000 Japanese immigrate to Hawai'i and the continental U.S.
 
1905
Asiatic Exclusion League is formed in San Francisco, marking the official beginning of an organized anti-Japanese movement.
 
1908
U.S.-Japan Gentlemen's Agreement restricts Japanese immigration to the U.S. Loopholes in the agreement result in the arrival of "picture brides" and family members.
 
1910s
Japanese American communities flourish particularly in Hawai'i and along the Pacific and Rocky Mountain regions of the United States.
 
1913
First Alien Land Law is passed in California, prohibiting "aliens ineligible to citizenship" from owning land and restricting land lease. The U.S. Supreme Court holds these discriminatory laws constitutional in November 1923.
 
1922
U.S. Supreme Court rules on the Takao Ozawa case, prohibiting Japanese from becoming naturalized citizens on the basis of race.
 
1924
Immigration Act of 1924 ends Japanese immigration to the U.S. At this point, the Japanese American population is approximately 70,000.
 
1930s
The Nisei, second generation born in the U.S., become a majority in the Nikkei population.
 
1941
On December 7 (8 in Japan), the Pacific War starts. The Japanese Americans are regarded the same as "the Japanese enemy."
 
1942
Incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans starts. About two-thirds of the internees are U.S. citizens. The second generation Japanese Americans from Hawai'i and the mainland U.S. serve in the U.S. military.
 
1946
The concentration camps are closed and the resettlement process begins as Japanese Americans rebuild their lives and communities.
 
1952
The Walter-McCarran Act allows Japanese immigrants to become naturalized U.S. citizens.
 
1970s
The redress movement begins. Japanese American communities demand apology and recognition of wrongdoings from the U.S. government.
 
1988
A redress bill is signed into law providing for individual payment of $20,000 to each surviving internee, government apology, and a $1.25 billion education fund.
 
1990
First redress payments are made and completed in 1994.