Japanese American
Overview
are American people of Japanese heritage
Japanese people
The are an ethnic group originating in the Japanese archipelago and are the predominant ethnic group of Japan. Worldwide, approximately 130 million people are of Japanese descent; of these, approximately 127 million are residents of Japan. People of Japanese ancestry who live in other countries...

. Japanese Americans have historically been among the three largest Asian American
Asian American
Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians as "Asian” refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan,...

 communities, but in recent decades have become the sixth largest group at roughly 1,204,205, including those of mixed-race or mixed-ethnicity. In the 2000 census, the largest Japanese American communities were in California with 394,896, Hawaii
Japanese in Hawaii
The Japanese in Hawaii simply Japanese or “Local Japanese”, rarely Kepanī are the second largest ethnic group in Hawaii. At their height in 1920, they constituted 43% of Hawaii's population. They now number about 16.7% of the islands' population, according to the 2000 U.S...

 with 296,674, Washington with 56,210, New York with 45,237, and Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 with 27,702.
People from Japan began migrating to the U.S.
Encyclopedia
are American people of Japanese heritage
Japanese people
The are an ethnic group originating in the Japanese archipelago and are the predominant ethnic group of Japan. Worldwide, approximately 130 million people are of Japanese descent; of these, approximately 127 million are residents of Japan. People of Japanese ancestry who live in other countries...

. Japanese Americans have historically been among the three largest Asian American
Asian American
Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians as "Asian” refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan,...

 communities, but in recent decades have become the sixth largest group at roughly 1,204,205, including those of mixed-race or mixed-ethnicity. In the 2000 census, the largest Japanese American communities were in California with 394,896, Hawaii
Japanese in Hawaii
The Japanese in Hawaii simply Japanese or “Local Japanese”, rarely Kepanī are the second largest ethnic group in Hawaii. At their height in 1920, they constituted 43% of Hawaii's population. They now number about 16.7% of the islands' population, according to the 2000 U.S...

 with 296,674, Washington with 56,210, New York with 45,237, and Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 with 27,702.

Immigration

People from Japan began migrating to the U.S. in significant numbers following the political, cultural, and social changes stemming from the 1868 Meiji Restoration
Meiji Restoration
The , also known as the Meiji Ishin, Revolution, Reform or Renewal, was a chain of events that restored imperial rule to Japan in 1868...

. Particularly after the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, Japanese immigrants were sought by industrialists to replace the Chinese immigrants. In 1907, the "Gentlemen's Agreement" between the governments of Japan and the U.S. ended immigration of Japanese workers (i.e., men), but permitted the immigration of spouses of Japanese immigrants already in the U.S. The Immigration Act of 1924
Immigration Act of 1924
The Immigration Act of 1924, or Johnson–Reed Act, including the National Origins Act, and Asian Exclusion Act , was a United States federal law that limited the annual number of immigrants who could be admitted from any country to 2% of the number of people from that country who were already...

 banned the immigration of all but a token few Japanese.

The ban on immigration produced unusually well-defined generational groups within the Japanese American community. Initially, there was an immigrant generation, the Issei
Issei
Issei is a Japanese language term used in countries in North America, South America and Australia to specify the Japanese people first to immigrate. Their children born in the new country are referred to as Nisei , and their grandchildren are Sansei...

, and their U.S.-born children, the Nisei Japanese American
Nisei
During the early years of World War II, Japanese Americans were forcibly relocated from their homes in the Pacific coast states because military leaders and public opinion combined to fan unproven fears of sabotage...

. The Issei were exclusively those who had immigrated before 1924. Because no new immigrants were permitted, all Japanese Americans born after 1924 were—by definition—born in the U.S. This generation, the Nisei, became a distinct cohort from the Issei generation in terms of age, citizenship, and English language ability, in addition to the usual generational differences. Institutional and interpersonal racism led many of the Nisei to marry other Nisei, resulting in a third distinct generation of Japanese Americans, the Sansei
Sansei
Sansei is a Japanese language term used in countries in South America, North America and Australia to specify the children of children born to Japanese people in the new country. The Nisei are considered the second generation, grandchildren of the Japanese-born immigrants are called Sansei and...

. Significant Japanese immigration did not occur until the Immigration Act of 1965 ended 40 years of bans against immigration from Japan and other countries.

The Naturalization Act of 1790
Naturalization Act of 1790
The original United States Naturalization Law of March 26, 1790 provided the first rules to be followed by the United States in the granting of national citizenship. This law limited naturalization to immigrants who were "free white persons" of "good moral character". It thus left out indentured...

 restricted naturalized U.S. citizenship to "free white persons," which excluded the Issei from citizenship. As a result, the Issei were unable to vote, and faced additional restrictions such as the inability to own land under many state laws.

Japanese Americans were parties in several important Supreme Court decisions, including Ozawa v. United States (1922) and Korematsu v. United States
Korematsu v. United States
Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 , was a landmark United States Supreme Court case concerning the constitutionality of Executive Order 9066, which ordered Japanese Americans into internment camps during World War II....

(1943). Korematsu is the origin of the "strict scrutiny
Strict scrutiny
Strict scrutiny is the most stringent standard of judicial review used by United States courts. It is part of the hierarchy of standards that courts use to weigh the government's interest against a constitutional right or principle. The lesser standards are rational basis review and exacting or...

" standard, which is applied, with great controversy, in government considerations of race since the 1989 Adarand Constructors v. Peña decision.

In recent years, immigration from Japan has been more like that from Western Europe: low and usually related to marriages between U.S. citizens and Japanese, with some via employment preferences. The number is on average 5 to 10 thousand per year, and is similar to the amount of immigration to the U.S. from Germany. This is in stark contrast to the rest of Asia, where family reunification is the primary impetus for immigration. Japanese Americans also have the oldest demographic structure of any non-white ethnic group in the U.S.; in addition, in the younger generations, due to intermarriage with whites and other Asian groups, part-Japanese are more common than full Japanese, and it appears as if this physical assimilation
Cultural assimilation
Cultural assimilation is a socio-political response to demographic multi-ethnicity that supports or promotes the assimilation of ethnic minorities into the dominant culture. The term assimilation is often used with regard to immigrants and various ethnic groups who have settled in a new land. New...

 will continue at a rapid rate.

Generations

The nomenclature for each of their generations who are citizens or long-term residents of countries other than Japan, used by Japanese Americans and other nationals of Japanese descent are explained here; they are formed by combining one of the Japanese numbers corresponding to the generation
Generation
Generation , also known as procreation in biological sciences, is the act of producing offspring....

 with the Japanese word for generation (sei 世). The Japanese-American communities have themselves distinguished their members with terms like Issei, Nisei, and Sansei which describe the first, second and third generation of immigrants. The fourth generation is called Yonsei (四世) and the fifth is called Gosei (五世). The term Nikkei
Japanese diaspora
The Japanese diaspora, and its individual members known as , are Japanese emigrants from Japan and their descendants that reside in a foreign country...

(日系) was coined by Japanese American sociologists and encompasses Japanese immigrants in all countries and of all generations.
Generation Summary
Issei
Issei
Issei is a Japanese language term used in countries in North America, South America and Australia to specify the Japanese people first to immigrate. Their children born in the new country are referred to as Nisei , and their grandchildren are Sansei...

 (一世)
The generation of people born in Japan who later immigrated to another country.
Nisei
Nisei
During the early years of World War II, Japanese Americans were forcibly relocated from their homes in the Pacific coast states because military leaders and public opinion combined to fan unproven fears of sabotage...

 (二世)
The generation of people born in North America, Latin America, Hawaii, or any country outside of Japan either to at least one Issei
Issei
Issei is a Japanese language term used in countries in North America, South America and Australia to specify the Japanese people first to immigrate. Their children born in the new country are referred to as Nisei , and their grandchildren are Sansei...

 or one non-immigrant Japanese parent.
Sansei
Sansei
Sansei is a Japanese language term used in countries in South America, North America and Australia to specify the children of children born to Japanese people in the new country. The Nisei are considered the second generation, grandchildren of the Japanese-born immigrants are called Sansei and...

 (三世)
The generation of people born in North America, Latin America, Hawaii, or any country outside of Japan to at least one Nisei
Nisei
During the early years of World War II, Japanese Americans were forcibly relocated from their homes in the Pacific coast states because military leaders and public opinion combined to fan unproven fears of sabotage...

 parent.
Yonsei
Yonsei (fourth-generation Nikkei)
is a Japanese diasporic term used in countries, particularly in North America and in Latin America, to specify the great-grandchildren of Japanese immigrants . The children of Issei are Nisei . Sansei are the third generation, and their offspring are Yonsei...

 (四世)
The generation of people born in North America, Latin America, Hawaii, or any country outside of Japan to at least one Sansei
Sansei
Sansei is a Japanese language term used in countries in South America, North America and Australia to specify the children of children born to Japanese people in the new country. The Nisei are considered the second generation, grandchildren of the Japanese-born immigrants are called Sansei and...

 parent.
Gosei
Gosei (fifth-generation Nikkei)
is a Japanese diasporic term used in countries, particularly in North America and in Latin America, to specify the great-great-grandchildren of Japanese immigrants . The children of Issei are Nisei . Sansei are the third generation, and their offspring are Yonsei...

 (五世)
The generation of people born in North America, Latin America, Hawaii, or any country outside of Japan to at least one Yonsei
Yonsei (fourth-generation Nikkei)
is a Japanese diasporic term used in countries, particularly in North America and in Latin America, to specify the great-grandchildren of Japanese immigrants . The children of Issei are Nisei . Sansei are the third generation, and their offspring are Yonsei...

 parent.


The kanreki (還暦), a pre-modern Japanese rite of passage to old age at 60, is now being celebrated by increasing numbers of Japanese-American Nisei. Rituals are enactments of shared meanings, norms, and values; and this traditional Japanese rite of passage highlights a collective response among the Nisei to the conventional dilemmas of growing older.

Languages

Issei and many Nisei speak Japanese in addition to English as a second language. In general, later generations of Japanese Americans speak English as their first language, though some do learn Japanese later as a second language. In Hawaii however, where Nisei are about one-fifth of the whole population, Japanese is a major language, spoken and studied by many of the state's residents across ethnicities. It is taught in private Japanese language schools as early as the second grade. As a courtesy to the large number of Japanese tourists (from Japan), Japanese subtexts are provided on place signs, public transportation, and civic facilities. The Hawaii media market has a few locally produced Japanese language newspapers and magazines, however these are on the verge of dying out, due to a lack of interest on the part of the local (Hawaii-born) Japanese population. Stores that cater to the tourist industry often have Japanese-speaking personnel. To show their allegiance to the U.S., many Nisei and Sansei intentionally avoided learning Japanese. But as many of the later generations find their identities in both Japan and America, studying Japanese is becoming more popular than it once was.

Education

Japanese American culture places great value on education. Across generations, children are instilled with a strong desire to enter the rigors of higher education. Because of such widespread ambition among members of the Japanese-American community, math and reading scores on the SAT
SAT
The SAT Reasoning Test is a standardized test for college admissions in the United States. The SAT is owned, published, and developed by the College Board, a nonprofit organization in the United States. It was formerly developed, published, and scored by the Educational Testing Service which still...

 and ACT may often exceed the national averages. Japanese-Americans have the largest showing of any ethnic group in nationwide Advanced Placement testing each year.

A large majority of Japanese Americans obtain post-secondary degrees. Japanese Americans often face the "model minority
Model minority
Model minority refers to a minority ethnic, racial, or religious group whose members achieve a higher degree of success than the population average. It is most commonly used to label one ethnic minority higher achieving than another ethnic minority...

" stereotype that they are dominant in math- and science-related fields in colleges and universities across the United States. In reality, however, there is an equal distribution of Japanese-Americans between the arts and humanities and the sciences. Although their numbers have declined slightly in recent years, Japanese Americans are still a prominent presence in Ivy League schools, the top University of California
University of California
The University of California is a public university system in the U.S. state of California. Under the California Master Plan for Higher Education, the University of California is a part of the state's three-tier public higher education system, which also includes the California State University...

 campuses including UC Berkeley and UCLA, and other elite universities. As subsequent generations of Japanese Americans have essentially become more "Americanized" they are not as cutthroat as other East Asian groups when it comes to aiming for admission to prestigious universities, but many are still ambitious and strive to attend the best universities in America.

Intermarriage

Before the 1960s, the trend of Japanese Americans marrying partners outside their racial or ethnic group was generally low, as well a great many traditional Issei parents encouraged Nisei to marry only within their ethnic/cultural group. Arrangements to purchase and invite picture bride
Picture bride
The term picture bride refers to the practice in the early 20th century of immigrant workers in Hawaii and the West Coast of the United States selecting brides from their native countries via a matchmaker, who paired bride and groom using only photographs and family recommendations of the possible...

s from Japan to relocate and marry Issei or Nisei males was commonplace.

In California and other western states until the end of World War II, there were attempts to make it illegal for Japanese and other Asian Americans to marry European Americans, but those laws were declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, like the anti-miscegenation
Miscegenation
Miscegenation is the mixing of different racial groups through marriage, cohabitation, sexual relations, and procreation....

 laws which prevented European Americans from marrying African Americans in the 1960s.

According to a 1990 statistical survey by the Japan Society
Japan Society (New York)
Founded in 1907, Japan Society is a nonprofit, nonpolitical organization that aims to brings the people of Japan and the United States closer together through understanding, appreciation and cooperation...

 of America, the Sansei or third generations have an estimated 20 to 30 percent out-of-group marriage, while the 4th generation or Yonsei approaches nearly 50 percent. The rate for Japanese American women to marry European American and other Asian American men is becoming more frequent, but lower rates for Hispanic and American Indian men (although the number of Cherokee
Cherokee
The Cherokee are a Native American people historically settled in the Southeastern United States . Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian language family...

 Indians in California with Japanese ancestry is much reported), and with African American men is even smaller.

During the WWII Internment era, the U.S. Executive Order 9066
Executive Order 9066
United States Executive Order 9066 was a United States presidential executive order signed and issued during World War II by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942 authorizing the Secretary of War to prescribe certain areas as military zones...

 had an inclusion of orphaned infants with "one drop of Japanese blood" (as explained in a letter by one official) or the order stated anyone at least one-sixteenth Japanese (descended from any intermarriage) lends credence to the argument that the measures were racially motivated, rather than a military necessity.

There were sizable numbers of Korean-Japanese, Chinese-Japanese, Filipino-Japanese, Mexican-Japanese, Native Hawaiian-Japanese and Cherokee-Japanese in California according to the 1940 U.S. Census who were eligible for internment as "Japanese" to indicate the first stage of widespread intermarriage of Japanese Americans, including those who passed as "white" or half-Asian/European.

Religion

Japanese Americans practice a wide range of religions, including Mahayana Buddhism (Jodo Shinshu, Jodo Shu, Nichiren, Shingon and Zen forms being most prominent) their majority faith, Shinto
Shinto
or Shintoism, also kami-no-michi, is the indigenous spirituality of Japan and the Japanese people. It is a set of practices, to be carried out diligently, to establish a connection between present day Japan and its ancient past. Shinto practices were first recorded and codified in the written...

, and Christianity. In many ways, due to the longstanding nature of Buddhist and Shinto practices in Japanese society, many of the cultural values and traditions commonly associated with Japanese tradition have been strongly influenced by these religious forms.

A large number of the Japanese American community continue to practice Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 in some form, and a number of community traditions and festivals continue to center around Buddhist institutions. For example, one of the most popular community festivals is the annual Obon Festival, which occurs in the summer, and provides an opportunity to reconnect with their customs and traditions and to pass these traditions and customs to the young. These kinds of festivals are most popular in communities with large populations of Japanese Americans, such as in southern California or Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

. It should be noted however, that a reasonable number of Japanese people both in and out of Japan are secular, as Shinto and Buddhism are most often practiced by rituals such as marriages or funerals, and not through faithful worship, as defines religion for many Americans.

Celebrations

Japanese American celebrations tend to be more sectarian in nature and focus on the community-sharing aspects. An important annual festival for Japanese Americans is the Obon Festival, which happens in July or August of each year. Across the country, Japanese Americans gather on fair grounds, churches and large civic parking lots and commemorate the memory of their ancestors and their families through folk dances and food. Carnival booths are usually set up so Japanese American children have the opportunity to play together.

Major Celebrations in the United States
Date Name Region
January 1 Shōgatsu New Year's Celebration
Japanese New Year
The is one of the most important annual festivals, with its own unique customs, and has been celebrated for centuries. Due to the importance of the holiday and the preparations required, the preceding days are quite busy, particularly the day before, known as Ōmisoka.The Japanese New Year has been...

 
Nationwide
February Japanese Heritage Fair Honolulu, HI
February to March Cherry Blossom Festival Honolulu, HI
March 3 Hina Matsuri
Hinamatsuri
The Japanese , or Girls' Day, is held on March 3. Platforms covered with a red carpet are used to display a set of representing the Emperor, Empress, attendants, and musicians in traditional court dress of the Heian period.- Origin and customs :...

 (Girls' Day)
Hawaii
March Honolulu Festival Honolulu, HI
March Hawaii International Taiko
Taiko
means "drum" in Japanese . Outside Japan, the word is often used to refer to any of the various Japanese drums and to the relatively recent art-form of ensemble taiko drumming...

 Festival
Honolulu, HI
March International Cherry Blossom Festival Macon, GA
March to April National Cherry Blossom Festival
National Cherry Blossom Festival
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is a spring celebration in Washington, D.C., commemorating the March 27, 1912, gift of Japanese cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington...

 
Washington, DC
April Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival San Francisco, CA
April Pasadena Cherry Blossom Festival Pasadena, CA
April Seattle Cherry Blossom Festival  Seattle, WA
May 5 Tango no Sekku (Boys' Day) Hawaii
May Shinnyo-En Toro-Nagashi (Memorial Day Floating Lantern Ceremony) Honolulu, HI
June Pan-Pacific Festival Matsuri in Hawaii Honolulu, HI
July 7 Tanabata
Tanabata
is a Japanese star festival, originating from the Chinese Qixi Festival. It celebrates the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi . According to legend, the Milky Way separates these lovers, and they are allowed to meet only once a year on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month of the...

 Festival
Nationwide
July–August Obon
Obón
Obón is a municipality located in the province of Teruel, Aragon, Spain. According to the 2004 census , the municipality has a population of 75 inhabitants....

 Festival
Nationwide
August Nihonmachi Street Fair San Francisco, CA
August Nisei Week
Nisei Week
is an annual festival celebrating Japanese American culture and history in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles. Nisei means 2nd generation in Japanese, describing the first American born Japanese, a group which the seven day festival was originally meant to attract. Though named for the Nisei generation,...

 
Los Angeles, CA


Politics

Japanese Americans have shown strong support for candidates in both political parties. Shortly prior to the 2004 U.S. presidential election
United States presidential election, 2004
The United States presidential election of 2004 was the United States' 55th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 2, 2004. Republican Party candidate and incumbent President George W. Bush defeated Democratic Party candidate John Kerry, the then-junior U.S. Senator...

, Japanese Americans narrowly favored Democrat
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 John Kerry
John Kerry
John Forbes Kerry is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, the 10th most senior U.S. Senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election, but lost to former President George W...

 by a 42% to 38% margin over Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

.

The West Coast

  • Southern California
    Southern California
    Southern California is a megaregion, or megapolitan area, in the southern area of the U.S. state of California. Large urban areas include Greater Los Angeles and Greater San Diego. The urban area stretches along the coast from Ventura through the Southland and Inland Empire to San Diego...

     has sporadic Japanese American communities:
    • Los Angeles, includes the Little Tokyo
      Little Tokyo
      Little Tokyo may refer to:* Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, California* Little Tokyo, Vancouver* Little Tokyo, U.S.A., a 1942 American film* Another term for a Japantown* Shigeri Akabane , Japanese professional wrestler...

       section.
    • Anaheim and Orange County.
    • Fontana in the Inland Empire.
    • Gardena in Los Angeles' South Bay
      South Bay
      South Bay may refer to:In the USA:* South Bay , subregion of the San Francisco Bay Area* South Bay, Los Angeles, region of Los Angeles County* South Bay, former name of Fields Landing, California...

       area.
    • Long Beach, California - historic Japanese fisheries presence in Terminal Island
      Terminal Island
      Terminal Island is an island located in Los Angeles County, California between Los Angeles Harbor and Long Beach Harbor. Originally a mudflat known to the Spanish as Isla Raza de Buena Gente, and later called Rattlesnake Island, it has officially been Terminal Island since 1918...

      .
    • Pasadena in the Los Angeles' San Gabriel Valley
      San Gabriel Valley
      The San Gabriel Valley is one of the principal valleys of Southern California, United States. It lies to the east of Los Angeles, to the north of the Puente Hills, to the south of the San Gabriel Mountains, and west of the Inland Empire. It derives its name from the San Gabriel River that flows...

      .
    • Palm Desert, also the Japanese developed the year-round agricultural industries in the Coachella Valley
      Coachella Valley
      Coachella Valley is a large valley landform in Southern California. The valley extends for approximately 45 miles in Riverside County southeast from the San Bernardino Mountains to the saltwater Salton Sea, the largest lake in California...

       and Imperial Valley.
    • Sawtelle, California, in West Los Angeles.
    • Torrance in Los Angeles' South Bay
      South Bay
      South Bay may refer to:In the USA:* South Bay , subregion of the San Francisco Bay Area* South Bay, Los Angeles, region of Los Angeles County* South Bay, former name of Fields Landing, California...

       area.
    • Ventura County.
  • Central Valley, California region:
    • Bakersfield/ Kern County, California
      Kern County, California
      Spreading across the southern end of the California Central Valley, Kern County is the fifth-largest county by population in California. Its economy is heavily linked to agriculture and to petroleum extraction, and there is a strong aviation and space presence. Politically, it has generally...

      .
    • Fresno - 5% of the county have Japanese ancestry.
    • Merced.
    • Stockton.
    • Butte County.
    • Sutter County.
  • San Francisco Bay Area
    San Francisco Bay Area
    The San Francisco Bay Area, commonly known as the Bay Area, is a populated region that surrounds the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California. The region encompasses metropolitan areas of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, along with smaller urban and rural areas...

    , the main concentration of Nisei and Sansei in the 20th century:
    • Alameda County - concentrated and historic populations in the cities of Alameda, Berkeley, Fremont, Oakland, and Hayward.
    • Contra Costa County - concentrated in Walnut Creek
    • San Mateo County esp. Daly City and Pacifica.
    • San Jose, has one of the three remaining officially recognized Japantown
      Japantown
      is a common name for official Japanese communities in big cities outside Japan. Alternatively, a Japantown may be called J-town, Little Tokyo, or Nihonmachi , the first two being common names for the Japanese communities in San Francisco and Los Angeles, respectively.-North America:Japantowns were...

      s in North America.
    • Santa Clara County - concentrated in Cupertino, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, and Sunnyvale
    • San Francisco, notably in the Japantown district, the largest Japanese community in North America.
    • Santa Cruz County
  • Hawaii
    Hawaii
    Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

    , where a quarter of the population is of Japanese descent.
  • Monterey County, especially Salinas, California
    Salinas, California
    Salinas is the county seat and the largest municipality of Monterey County, California. Salinas is located east-southeast of the mouth of the Salinas River, at an elevation of about 52 feet above sea level. The population was 150,441 at the 2010 census...

    .
  • Sacramento and the neighborhoods of Florin and Walnut Grove.
  • San Diego area:
    • La Jolla, San Diego.
    • Bonsall east of Oceanside.
    • Japanese community center in Vista in North County one of two of its kind in Southern California.
  • San Luis Obispo.
  • Santa Barbara.
  • Seattle area.
    • Bellevue.
    • Redmond.
    • Tacoma.
  • Puget Sound region (San Juan Islands) have Japanese fisheries for over a century.
  • Skagit Valley
    Skagit Valley
    The Skagit Valley lies in the northwestern corner of the state of Washington, USA. Its defining feature is the Skagit River, which snakes through local communities which include the seat of Skagit County, Mount Vernon, as well as Sedro-Woolley, Concrete, Lyman-Hamilton, and Burlington.The local...

     of Washington.
  • Yakima Valley, Washington
    Yakima Valley
    Yakima Valley may refer to:*Yakima River Valley in southeastern Washington*Yakima Valley AVA...

    .
  • Chehalis Valley of Washington.
  • Portland, Oregon and surrounding area.
  • Willamette Valley, Oregon.
  • Phoenix Area notably a section of Grand Avenue in Northwest Phoenix, and Maryvale (Phoenix).
  • Las Vegas Area with a reference of Japanese farmers on Bonzai Slough, Arizona near Needles, California
    Needles, California
    Needles is a city located in the Mojave Desert on the western banks of the Colorado River in San Bernardino County, California. It is located in the Mohave Valley, which straddles the California–Arizona border. The city is accessible via Interstate 40 and U.S. Route 95...

    .
  • Southern Arizona, part of the "exclusion area" for Japanese internment during World War II along with the Pacific coast states.
  • Yuma County, Arizona.

Outside the west coast

  • Arlington, Virginia and Alexandria, Virginia (the Northern Virginia region).
  • Bergen County, New Jersey.
  • Boise, Idaho.
  • Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Chicago, Illinois and suburbs:
    • Arlington Heights, Illinois.
    • Buffalo Grove, Illinois.
    • Evanston, Illinois.
    • Elk Grove Heights, Illinois
      Elk Grove Township, Cook County, Illinois
      Elk Grove Township is one of thirty townships in Cook County, Illinois, USA. As of the 2000 census, its population was 94,969. Elk Grove Township formerly housed the United Airlines headquarters.-Geography:...

       and nearby Elk Grove Village, Illinois.
    • Kane County, Illinois.
    • Naperville, Illinois.
    • Schaumburg, Illinois.
    • Skokie, Illinois.
    • Wilmette, Illinois.
  • Denver, Colorado, note Sakura Square.
  • Gallup, New Mexico, in World War II the city fought to prevent the internment of its 800 Japanese residents.
  • Grand Prairie, Texas and Arlington, Texas (the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area).
  • Greeley, Colorado.
  • Houston, Texas.
  • McAllen, Texas.
  • Miami, Florida.
  • Mobile, Alabama.
  • New York City, New York - According to the Japanese Embassy of the USA, over 100,000 persons of Japanese ancestry live in the NYC metro area, including South Shore (Long Island)
    South Shore (Long Island)
    The South Shore of Long Island, in the U.S. state of New York, is the area along Long Island's Atlantic Ocean shoreline. Though some consider the South Shore to include parts of Queens, particularly the beach communities in the Rockaways such as Belle Harbor, the term is generally used to refer to...

     and Hudson Valley; Fairfield County, Connecticut and Northern New Jersey.
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
  • Orlando, Florida.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with the suburbs of Chester County, Pennsylvania.
  • Salem, New Jersey and Cherry Hill, New Jersey (see Delaware Valley).
  • Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • Washington, DC.
  • Wilmington, Delaware.
  • Wilmington, North Carolina.

Politics

After the Territory of Hawaii
Territory of Hawaii
The Territory of Hawaii or Hawaii Territory was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 7, 1898, until August 21, 1959, when its territory, with the exception of Johnston Atoll, was admitted to the Union as the fiftieth U.S. state, the State of Hawaii.The U.S...

's statehood in 1959, Japanese American political empowerment took a step forward with the election of Daniel K. Inouye to Congress. Spark Matsunaga
Spark Matsunaga
Spark Masayuki Matsunaga was a United States Senator from Hawaii. He was an American Democrat whose legislation in the United States Senate led to the creation of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians.-Career:Matsunaga became a United States Army Reservist in 1941,...

 was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1963, and in 1965 Patsy Mink
Patsy Mink
Patsy Matsu Takemoto Mink was an American politician from the U.S. state of Hawaii. Mink was a third generation Japanese American and member of the Democratic Party. She also was the Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.Mink served in the U.S...

 became the first Asian American woman elected to the United States Congress. Inouye, Matsunaga, and Mink's success led to the gradual acceptance of Japanese American leadership on the national stage, culminating in the appointments of Eric Shinseki
Eric Shinseki
Eric Ken Shinseki is a retired United States Army four-star general who is currently serving as the 7th United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs. His final U.S. Army post was as the 34th Chief of Staff of the Army...

 and Norman Y. Mineta, the first Japanese American military chief of staff and federal cabinet secretary
Cabinet Secretary
A Cabinet Secretary is almost always a senior official who provides services and advice to a Cabinet of Ministers. In many countries, the position can have considerably wider functions and powers, including general responsibility for the entire civil service...

, respectively.

Japanese American members of the United States House of Representatives have included Daniel K. Inouye, Spark Matsunaga, Patsy Mink, Norman Mineta, Bob Matsui
Bob Matsui
Robert Takeo Matsui was an American politician from the state of California. Matsui was a member of the Democratic Party and served in the U.S...

, Pat Saiki
Pat Saiki
Patricia Fukuda "Pat" Saiki is an American politician and former school teacher from Hilo in the State of Hawai'i. She served as a Republican in Congress from 1987 to 1991 and then as Administrator of the Small Business Administration under President of the United States George H. W...

, Mike Honda
Mike Honda
Michael Makoto "Mike" Honda is an American Democratic Party politician. He currently serves as the U.S. Representative for , encompassing western San Jose and Silicon Valley...

, Doris Matsui
Doris Matsui
Doris Okada Matsui is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2005. She is a member of the Democratic Party. The district consists of the city of Sacramento and the surrounding area...

, and Mazie Hirono
Mazie Hirono
is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2007. She is a member of the Democratic Party.She was the second Asian immigrant elected lieutenant governor of a state of the United States. She ran against Linda Lingle for governor of Hawaii in 2002, one of the few gubernatorial races in United...

. Japanese American members of the United States Senate have included Daniel K. Inouye, Samuel I. Hayakawa, and Spark Matsunaga. In 2010, Inouye was sworn in as President Pro Tempore
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
The President pro tempore is the second-highest-ranking official of the United States Senate. The United States Constitution states that the Vice President of the United States is the President of the Senate and the highest-ranking official of the Senate despite not being a member of the body...

 making him the highest-ranking Asian-American politician in American history.

George Ariyoshi
George Ariyoshi
George Ryoichi Ariyoshi , served as the third Governor of Hawaii from 1974 to 1986. He is a member of the Democratic Party. He assumed the governorship when John A. Burns was declared incapacitated. When he was elected, Ariyoshi became the first American of Asian descent to be elected governor of...

 served as the Governor of Hawaiʻi from 1974 to 1986. He was the first American of Asian descent to be elected governor of a state of the United States.

Science and technology

Many Japanese Americans have also gained prominence in science and technology. In 1979, biochemist Harvey Itano
Harvey Itano
Harvey Akio Itano was an American biochemist best known for his work on the molecular basis of sickle cell anemia and other diseases...

 became the first Japanese American elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences
United States National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences is a corporation in the United States whose members serve pro bono as "advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine." As a national academy, new members of the organization are elected annually by current members, based on their distinguished and...

. Charles J. Pedersen
Charles J. Pedersen
Charles John Pedersen was an American organic chemist best known for describing methods of synthesizing crown ethers. He shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1987 with Donald J. Cram and Jean-Marie Lehn...

 won the 1987 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his methods of synthesizing crown ethers. Yoichiro Nambu
Yoichiro Nambu
is a Japanese-born American physicist, currently a professor at the University of Chicago. Known for his contributions to the field of theoretical physics, he was awarded a one-half share of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2008 for the discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in...

 won the 2008 Nobel Prize in physics for his work on quantum chromodynamics and spontaneous symmetry breaking. Michio Kaku
Michio Kaku
is an American theoretical physicist, the Henry Semat Professor of Theoretical Physics in the City College of New York of City University of New York, the co-founder of string field theory, and a "communicator" and "popularizer" of science...

 is a theoretical physicist
Theoretical physics
Theoretical physics is a branch of physics which employs mathematical models and abstractions of physics to rationalize, explain and predict natural phenomena...

 specializing in string field theory
String field theory
String field theory is a formalism in string theory in which the dynamics of relativistic strings is reformulated in the language of quantum field theory...

, and a well-known science popularizer. Ellison Onizuka
Ellison Onizuka
was a Japanese American astronaut from Kealakekua, Kona, Hawaii, who successfully flew into space with the Space Shuttle Discovery on STS-51-C, before losing his life to the destruction of the Space Shuttle Challenger, where he was serving as Mission Specialist for mission STS-51-L...

 became the first Asian American astronaut
Astronaut
An astronaut or cosmonaut is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft....

 and was the mission specialist aboard Challenger at the time of its explosion
Space Shuttle Challenger disaster
The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred on January 28, 1986, when Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of its seven crew members. The spacecraft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of central Florida at 11:38 am EST...

.

Art and literature

In the arts, Minoru Yamasaki
Minoru Yamasaki
was a Japanese-American architect, best known for his design of the twin towers of the World Trade Center, buildings 1 and 2. Yamasaki was one of the most prominent architects of the 20th century...

 was the architect of the World Trade Center
World Trade Center
The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with five new...

. Artist Sueo Serisawa
Sueo Serisawa
Sueo Serisawa was a Japanese American who became a modernist of the Los Angeles school.-Theme/style:Serisawa's painting genres included Impressionism, Modernism, Regionalism, Expressionism, and Abstraction...

 helped establish the California Impressionist style of painting. Other influential Japanese American artists include Chiura Obata
Chiura Obata
was a well-known Japanese-American artist. He came to the United States in 1903, at age 17. After initially working as an illustrator and commercial decorator, he had a successful career as a painter, following a 1927 summer spent in the Sierra Nevada, and was a faculty member in the Art Department...

, Isamu Noguchi
Isamu Noguchi
was a prominent Japanese American artist and landscape architect whose artistic career spanned six decades, from the 1920s onward. Known for his sculpture and public works, Noguchi also designed stage sets for various Martha Graham productions, and several mass-produced lamps and furniture pieces,...

, George Tsutakawa
George Tsutakawa
George Tsutakawa , sculptor and painter, was born in Seattle, Washington. Tsutakawa spent much of his childhood in Okayama, Japan. He returned to Seattle at the age of 16, where he attended Broadway High School before earning a BFA at the University of Washington. One of his early mentors was...

, and George Nakashima
George Nakashima
George Katsutoshi NakashimaGeorge Katsutoshi NakashimaGeorge Katsutoshi Nakashima( was a Japanese-American woodworker, architect, and furniture maker who was one of the leading innovators of 20th century furniture design and a father of the American craft movement...

.

Japanese American recipients of the American Book Award
American Book Award
The American Book Award was established in 1978 by the Before Columbus Foundation. It seeks to recognize outstanding literary achievement by contemporary American authors, without restriction to race, sex, ethnic background, or genre...

 include Milton Murayama
Milton Murayama
Milton Murayama is an American Nisei novelist and playwright. His first novel, All I Asking for Is My Body is considered a classic novel of the experiences of Japanese Americans in Hawaii before and during World War II.-Biography:Murayama was born in Maui, Hawaii to Japanese immigrant parents...

, Ronald Phillip Tanaka
Ronald Phillip Tanaka
-Life:He was a Sansei , born in the Poston War Relocation Center in Arizona in 1944 behind barbed wire.He graduated from Pomona College, from the University of California, Berkley with a Ph.D...

, Miné Okubo
Miné Okubo
Miné Okubo , a pioneering Nisei woman, artist and writer, created approximately 2000 drawings and sketches of her experiences while confined along with approximately 110,000 Japanese Americans in US internment camps following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor...

, Keiho Soga
Keiho Soga
Yatsutaro Soga was a Hawaiian Issei journalist, and poet.-Life:In 1896, he immigrated to Hawai'i.He was a reporter for Hawaii Shimpo....

, Taisanboku Mori, Sojin Takei, Muin Ozaki, Toshio Mori
Toshio Mori
Toshio Mori is an American author, best known for being one of the earliest Japanese American writers to publish a book of fiction.-Biography:...

, William Minoru Hohri , Karen Tei Yamashita
Karen Tei Yamashita
Karen Tei Yamashita is a Japanese American writer and Associate Professor of Literature at University of California, Santa Cruz, where she teaches creative writing and Asian American literature...

, Sheila Hamanaka
Sheila Hamanaka
-Works:* In Search Of The Spirit: The Living National Treasures of Japan, 1999 Morrow Junior, Sheila Hamanaka, Ayano Ohmi, ISBN 9780688146078-Criticism:**-Reviews:...

, Lawson Fusao Inada
Lawson Fusao Inada
Lawson Fusao Inada is an American poet and was the fifth poet laureate of the U.S. state of Oregon.-Early life:Inada is a third-generation Japanese American...

, Ronald Takaki
Ronald Takaki
Ronald Toshiyuki Takaki was an academic, historian, ethnographer and author. Born in Oahu, Hawai'i, his work addresses stereotypes of Asian Americans, such as the model minority concept.-Early life:...

, Kimiko Hahn
Kimiko Hahn
Kimiko Hahn is an American poet and instructor of poetry.-Personal:Hahn received a bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa and an M.A...

, Lois-Ann Yamanaka
Lois-Ann Yamanaka
Lois-Ann Yamanaka is a Japanese-American poet and novelist from Hawaii. Many of her critically acclaimed literary works are written in Hawaiian Pidgin, and some of her writing has dealt with controversial ethnic issues...

, Ruth Ozeki
Ruth Ozeki
Ruth Ozeki is a Canadian-American novelist, filmmaker and Zen Buddhist priest. She worked in commercial television and media production for over a decade and made several independent films before turning to writing fiction.-Life:...

, Hiroshi Kashiwagi
Hiroshi Kashiwagi
Hiroshi Kashiwagi is a Nisei poet, playwright and actor. For his writing and performance work on stage he is considered an early pioneer of Asian American theatre.-Biography:...

, and Yuko Taniguchi
Yuko Taniguchi
Yuko Taniguchi was is an American poet, and novelist.-Life:She came to the United States, at fifteen, and attended high school in Maryland....

. Hisaye Yamamoto
Hisaye Yamamoto
Hisaye Yamamoto was a Japanese American author. She is best known for the short story collection Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories, first published in 1988...

 received an American Book Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1986.

Poet laureate of San Francisco Janice Mirikitani
Janice Mirikitani
Janice Mirikitani is an American Sansei poet and activist.She was born in Stockton, California to Shigemi and Ted Mirikitani, who were Nisei farmers in San Joaquin County. During World War II, she was interred along with her family at the Rohwer War Relocation Center in Arkansas. Following the...

 has published three volumes of poems. Lawson Fusao Inada was named poet laureate of the state of Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

.

Music

Classical violinist Midori Gotō
Midori Goto
is a Japanese American violinist. She made her debut at the age of 11 in a last-minute change of programming during a concert highlighting young performers by the New York Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta. When she was 21, she formed the philanthropic group Midori and Friends to help bring music to...

 is a recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize
Avery Fisher Prize
The Avery Fisher Prize is an award given to American musicians for outstanding achievement in classical music. Founded by philanthropist Avery Fisher in 1974, it is regarded as one of the most significant awards for American instrumentalists. The award is decided by members of the Avery Fisher...

, while world-renowned violinist Anne Akiko Meyers
Anne Akiko Meyers
Anne Akiko Meyers is an American concert violinist. Meyers has toured and collaborated with a number of symphony orchestras and Il Divo, Chris Botti and Wynton Marsalis. Meyers tours with a 1730 Stradivarius violin called the 'Royal Spanish'...

 received an Avery Fisher career grant in 1993. Other notable Japanese American musicians include singer, actress and Broadway star Pat Suzuki
Pat Suzuki
Pat Suzuki is an American popular singer and actress, who is best known for her role in the original Broadway production of the musical Flower Drum Song, and her performance of the song "I Enjoy Being a Girl" in the show.-Career:Suzuki is a Nisei or second-generation Japanese American...

; rapper Mike Shinoda
Mike Shinoda
Michael "Mike" Kenji Shinoda is an American musician, record producer, and artist. He is best known as the rapper, principal songwriter, keyboardist, vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the rock band Linkin Park, along with his co-frontman and lead singer Chester Bennington, and as a solo rapper in...

 of Linkin Park
Linkin Park
Linkin Park is an American rock band from Agoura Hills, California. Formed in 1996, the band rose to international fame with their debut album, Hybrid Theory, which was certified Diamond by the RIAA in 2005 and multi-platinum in several other countries...

 and Fort Minor
Fort Minor
Fort Minor is a hip hop side-project of Mike Shinoda, who is better known as being a member of the American rock band Linkin Park. Shinoda's debut solo album as Fort Minor, The Rising Tied was released November 22, 2005.-History:...

, rapper Kikuo Nishi aka "KeyKool" of The Visionaries
The Visionaries
The Visionaries is an underground hip hop crew from Los Angeles, California. The crew formed in 1995, and have since released four full-length albums on Up Above Records. The crew's six members have collectively released over twenty solo and side projects...

, original bassist Hiro Yamamoto
Hiro Yamamoto
Hiro Yamamoto is an American bassist who was a founding member of grunge band Soundgarden, along with Kim Thayil and Chris Cornell in 1984...

 of Soundgarden
Soundgarden
Soundgarden is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington in 1984 by singer Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil, and bassist Hiro Yamamoto...

, guitarist James Iha
James Iha
James Yoshinobu Iha b. March 26, 1968 in Chicago, Illinois) is a Japanese American rock musician. He is best known as having been a guitarist and co-founder of the alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins and for his eclectic musical projects of recent years, most notably being a permanent...

 of The Smashing Pumpkins
The Smashing Pumpkins
The Smashing Pumpkins are an American alternative rock band that formed in Chicago, Illinois in 1988. Formed by Billy Corgan frontman and James Iha , the band has included Jimmy Chamberlin , D'arcy Wretzky , and currently includes Jeff Schroeder Mike Byrne , and Nicole Fiorentino The Smashing...

 fame; singer & songwriter, composer and Japanese expatriate Mari Iijima
Mari Iijima
is a Japanese singer-songwriter who has released over 20 original albums to date. She writes and produces most of her own music, is a multi-instrumentalist, and is an accomplished piano player. After being signed to JVC Victor in 1982, Mari first became known for her voice-acting role as Lynn...

; Shodo Artist, J-Poet, Gravure Idols and BURN Flame Miki Ariyama; ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro
Jake Shimabukuro
Jake Shimabukuro is an ukulele virtuoso known for his complex finger work. His music combines elements of jazz and rock.- History :...

, famous J-pop superstar Hikaru Utada and critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Rachael Yamagata
Rachael Yamagata
Rachael Yamagata is an American singer-songwriter and pianist from Arlington, Virginia. She began her musical career with the band Bumpus before becoming a solo artist and releasing four EP's and three studio albums...

, Matt Heafy
Matt Heafy
Matthew Kiichi "Matt" Heafy is a Japanese-American musician, best known as the lead vocalist and lead guitarist for the American Metal band Trivium. Heafy is also the vocalist for the band Capharnaum, along with Trivium's former producer Jason Suecof.-Biography:Heafy is Japanese from his mother...

 lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for the American Metal band Trivium
Trivium
In medieval universities, the trivium comprised the three subjects that were taught first: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. The word is a Latin term meaning “the three ways” or “the three roads” forming the foundation of a medieval liberal arts education. This study was preparatory for the quadrivium....

.

Sports

Japanese Americans first made an impact in Olympic sports in the late 1940s and in the 1950s. Harold Sakata
Harold Sakata
Toshiyuki "Harold" Sakata was a Japanese American professional wrestler and film actor most famous for his role as the villain "Oddjob" in the James Bond film Goldfinger.-Career:...

 won a weightlifting silver medal in the 1948 Olympics, while Japanese Americans Tommy Kono
Tommy Kono
Tamio "Tommy" Kono was a U.S. weightlifter in the 1950s and 1960s.Kono is the only lifter to have set world records in four different weightlifting classes: lightweight , middleweight , light-heavyweight , and middle-heavyweight .He won...

 (weightlifting), Yoshinobu Oyakawa
Yoshinobu Oyakawa
Yoshinobu "Yoshi" Oyakawa was a backstroke swimmer from the United States, who won the 100m Backstroke at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland. He is considered to be the last of the great "straight-arm-pull" backstrokers....

 (100-meter backstroke), and Ford Konno
Ford Konno
Ford Hiroshi Konno is a former freestyle swimmer from the United States, who swam at McKinley High School and the Ohio State University....

 (1500-meter freestyle) each won gold and set Olympic records in the 1952 Olympics. Konno won another gold and silver swimming medal at the same Olympics and added a silver medal in 1956, while Kono set another Olympic weightlifting record in 1956. Also at the 1952 Olympics, Evelyn Kawamoto won two bronze medals in swimming.

More recently, Eric Sato
Eric Sato
Eric Anthony Sato is a former American volleyball player, who was a member of the United States men's national volleyball team that won the gold medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea....

 won gold (1988) and bronze (1992) medals in volleyball, while his sister Liane Sato
Liane Sato
Liane Lissa Sato is a retired female volleyball player from the United States, who won the bronze medal with the USA National Team at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain...

 won bronze in the same sport in 1992. In 1985, sansei Teiko Nishi
Teiko Nishi
Teiko Nishi is an American former women's basketball player. She played for the UCLA Bruins each year from 1985 until 1988. In 1987, Nishi, from North Torrance, California, was the only Asian American woman playing Division I basketball in southern California....

 from North Torrance became the first Asian American to start on a NCAA Division 1 Women's Basketball team at UCLA. Hapa
Hapa
Hapa is a Hawaiian language term used to describe a person of mixed Asian or Pacific Islander racial or ethnic heritage.-Etymology:In the Hawaiian language, hapa is defined as: portion, fragment, part, fraction, installment; to be partial, less. It is a loan from the English word half...

 Bryan Clay
Bryan Clay
Bryan Ezra Tsumoru Clay is an American decathlete. He is the reigning Olympic champion for the decathlon and was also World champion in 2005.-Biography:...

 won the decathlon gold medal in the 2008 Olympics
Athletics at the 2008 Summer Olympics - Men's decathlon
-Heat 1:21 August 2008 - 9:20Wind: -0.6 m/s-Heat 2:21 August 2008 - 9:27Wind: -0.2 m/s-Heat 3:21 August 2008 - 9:34Wind: 0.3 m/s-Heat 4:21 August 2008 - 9:41Wind: -0.4 m/s-Heat 5:21 August 2008 - 9:48Wind: -0.1 m/s-Group A:...

, the silver medal in the 2004 Olympics
Athletics at the 2004 Summer Olympics - Men's Decathlon
The Decathlon at the 2004 Summer Olympics as part of the athletics program was held at the Athens Olympic Stadium on August 23 and August 24....

, and was the sport's 2005 world champion. Hapa
Hapa
Hapa is a Hawaiian language term used to describe a person of mixed Asian or Pacific Islander racial or ethnic heritage.-Etymology:In the Hawaiian language, hapa is defined as: portion, fragment, part, fraction, installment; to be partial, less. It is a loan from the English word half...

 Apolo Anton Ohno
Apolo Anton Ohno
Apolo Anton Ohno is an American short track speed skating competitor and an eight-time medalist in the Winter Olympics. He is the most decorated American Winter Olympic athlete of all time....

 won eight Olympic medals in short-track speed skating (two gold) in 2002, 2006, and 2010, as well as a world cup championship.

In figure skating, Kristi Yamaguchi
Kristi Yamaguchi
Kristine Tsuya "Kristi" Yamaguchi-Hedican is an American figure skater. She is the 1992 Olympic Champion in ladies' singles. Yamaguchi also won two World Figure Skating Championships in 1991 and 1992 and a U.S. Figure Skating Championships in 1992. She won one junior world title in 1988 and two...

, a fourth-generation Japanese American, won three national championship titles (one in singles, two in pairs), two world titles, and the 1992 Olympic Gold medal. Rena Inoue
Rena Inoue
is an American pair skater. With partner John Baldwin, she is the 2004 and 2006 U.S. National Champion. Inoue previously competed for Japan as both a single skater and pair skater. Inoue and Baldwin are the first skaters to perform a throw triple axel in competition.-Personal life:Rena Inoue was...

, a Japanese immigrant to America who later became a U.S. citizen, competed at the 2006 Olympics in pair skating for the United States. Kyoko Ina
Kyoko Ina
is a Japanese-American figure skater. With partner John Zimmerman, she is a three-time U.S. national champion and 2002 Olympian. With partner Jason Dungjen, she was a two-time U.S. Champion and a 1994 & 1998 Olympian.- Life and career :...

, who was born in Japan, but raised in the United States, competed for the United States in singles and pairs, and was a multiple national champion and an Olympian with two different partners. Mirai Nagasu
Mirai Nagasu
Mirai Aileen Nagasu , born April 16, 1993 is an American figure skater. She is the 2008 U.S. national champion, 2010 U.S. silver medalist, 2011 Four Continents bronze medalist, and 2007–2008 Junior Grand Prix Final champion....

 won the 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships at the age of 14 and became the second youngest woman to ever win that title.

In distance running, Miki (Michiko) Gorman
Miki Gorman
Miki Suwa Gorman was one of America's foremost women's marathoners during the mid 1970s. Gorman is the only woman to win both the Boston and New York City marathons twice, and one of only two woman runners to win both marathons in the same year.-Biography:Gorman, who grew up in Japan's Fukushima...

 won the Boston
Boston Marathon
The Boston Marathon is an annual marathon hosted by the U.S. city of Boston, Massachusetts, on Patriots' Day, the third Monday of April. Begun in 1897 and inspired by the success of the first modern-day marathon competition in the 1896 Summer Olympics, the Boston Marathon is the world's oldest...

 and New York City
New York City Marathon
The New York City Marathon is a major annual marathon that courses through the five boroughs of New York City. It is one of the largest marathons in the world, with 45,103 finishers in 2010...

 marathons twice in the 1970s. A former American record holder at the distance, she is the only woman to win both races twice, and is the only woman to win both marathons in the same year.

In professional sports, Wataru Misaka
Wataru Misaka
is a retired American basketball player. He was the first player of Asian descent and the first non-Caucasian person to play in the National Basketball Association .-Biography:...

 broke the NBA
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

 color barrier in the 1947–48 season, when he played for the New York Knicks
New York Knicks
The New York Knickerbockers, prominently known as the Knicks, are a professional basketball team based in New York City. They are part of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association...

. Misaka also played a key role in Utah
University of Utah
The University of Utah, also known as the U or the U of U, is a public, coeducational research university in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. The university was established in 1850 as the University of Deseret by the General Assembly of the provisional State of Deseret, making it Utah's oldest...

's NCAA
NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship
The NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship is a single-elimination tournament held each spring in the United States, featuring 68 college basketball teams, to determine the national championship in the top tier of college basketball...

 and NIT
National Invitation Tournament
The National Invitation Tournament is a men's college basketball tournament operated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. There are two NIT events each season. The first, played in November and known as the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off , was founded in 1985...

 basketball championships in 1944 and 1947. Wally Kaname Yonamine
Wally Kaname Yonamine
Wallace Kaname "Wally" Yonamine , also known as Wally Yonamine, was a multi-sport American athlete who played in the All-America Football Conference and Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball....

 was a professional running back for the San Francisco 49ers in 1947. Lindsey Yamasaki
Lindsey Yamasaki
-External links:* * *...

 was the first Asian American to play in the WNBA and finished off her NCAA career with the third-most career 3-pointers at Stanford University
Stanford University
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...

.

Hikaru Nakamura
Hikaru Nakamura
Hikaru Nakamura is an American chess Grandmaster . He has been ranked among the top six players in the world by FIDE....

 became the youngest American ever to earn the titles of National Master (age 10) and International Grandmaster (age 15) in chess. In 2004, at the age of 16, he won the U.S. Chess Championship
U.S. Chess Championship
The U.S. Chess Championship is an invitational tournament held to determine the national chess champion of the United States. Since 1936, it has been held under the auspices of the U.S. Chess Federation. Until 1999, the event consisted of a round-robin tournament of varying size...

.

Entertainment and media

Miyoshi Umeki
Miyoshi Umeki
was a naturalized American actress and standards singer. She was best known for her roles as Katsumi, the wife of Joe Kelly , in the 1957 film Sayonara, as Mei Li in the 1958 Broadway musical and 1961 film Flower Drum Song, and as Mrs. Livingston, the housekeeper of Bill Bixby's and Brandon Cruz's...

 won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry. Since its inception, however, the...

 in 1957. Actors Sessue Hayakawa
Sessue Hayakawa
was a Japanese and American Issei actor who starred in American, Japanese, French, German, and British films. Hayakawa was the first and one of the few Asian actors to find stardom in the United States as well as Europe. Between the mid-1910s and the late 1920s, he was as well known as actors...

, Mako Iwamatsu, and Pat Morita
Pat Morita
Noriyuki "Pat" Morita was an American actor of Japanese descent who was well-known for playing the roles of Matsuo "Arnold" Takahashi on Happy Days and Mr. Miyagi in the The Karate Kid movie series, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1984.-Early life:Pat...

 were nominated for Academy Awards in 1957, 1966, and 1984 respectively. Chris Tashima
Chris Tashima
Chris Tashima is a Japanese American actor and director. He is co-founder of the entertainment company Cedar Grove Productions and Artistic Director of its Asian American theatre company, Cedar Grove OnStage. He is the son of U.S. Circuit Judge A. Wallace Tashima...

 won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film
Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film
This name for the Academy Award for Live Action Short Film was introduced in 1974. For the three preceding years it was known as "Short Subjects, Live Action Films." The term "Short Subjects, Live Action Subjects" was used from 1957 until 1970. From 1936 until 1956 there were two separate...

 in 1997.

Jack Soo
Jack Soo
Jack Soo was a Japanese American actor. He is best known for his role as Detective Nick Yemana on the television sitcom Barney Miller.-Early life:...

 (Valentine's Day and Barney Miller
Barney Miller
Barney Miller is a situation comedy television series set in a New York City police station in Greenwich Village. The series originally was broadcast from January 23, 1975 to May 20, 1982 on ABC. It was created by Danny Arnold and Theodore J. Flicker...

), George Takei
George Takei
George Hosato Takei Altman is an American actor, author, social activist and former civil politician. He is best known for his role in the television series Star Trek and its film spinoffs, in which he played Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the...

 (Star Trek
Star Trek
Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. The core of Star Trek is its six television series: The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise...

fame) and Pat Morita
Pat Morita
Noriyuki "Pat" Morita was an American actor of Japanese descent who was well-known for playing the roles of Matsuo "Arnold" Takahashi on Happy Days and Mr. Miyagi in the The Karate Kid movie series, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1984.-Early life:Pat...

 (Happy Days
Happy Days
Happy Days is an American television sitcom that originally aired from January 15, 1974, to September 24, 1984, on ABC. Created by Garry Marshall, the series presents an idealized vision of life in mid-1950s to mid-1960s America....

) helped pioneer acting roles for Asian Americans while playing secondary roles on the small screen during the 1960s and 1970s. In 1976, Morita also starred in Mr. T and Tina
Mr. T and Tina
Mr. T and Tina is an American sitcom that aired for five episodes on ABC in the fall of 1976. Starring Pat Morita, the series was a spin-off of the then-hit series Welcome Back, Kotter...

, which was the first American sitcom centered on a person of Asian descent. Lisa Yamanaka was famous for voicing the character Wanda Li in The Magic School Bus
The Magic School Bus (TV series)
The Magic School Bus is an American Saturday morning animated television series based on the book series of the same name by Joanna Cole. It is notable for its use of celebrity talent and combining entertainment with an educational show, according to an article in Animation World Magazine by...

which is currently on Qubo
Qubo
Qubo is a multi-platform children's television specialty channel endeavor operated as a joint venture between ION Media Networks, NBCUniversal, Nelvana, Scholastic Corporation, and Classic Media...

. Keiko Yoshida was cast in the past TV show ZOOM
Zoom (1999 TV series)
ZOOM is an American educational television series, created almost entirely by children, which aired on Public Broadcasting Service originally from January 4, 1999 to June 24, 2005. It was a remake of a 1972 TV series by the same name. Both versions were produced by WGBH-TV in Boston...

in PBS Kids
PBS Kids
PBS Kids is the brand for children's programming aired by the Public Broadcasting Service in the United States founded in 1993. As with all PBS programming, PBS Kids programming is non-commercial. It is aimed at children ages 2 to 10...

. Gregg Araki
Gregg Araki
Gregg Araki is an American independent filmmaker. He is involved in New Queer Cinema.-Early life:Araki was born in Los Angeles but grew up in Santa Barbara, California...

 (film director of independent films) is also Japanese American.

Today, Shin Koyamada
Shin Koyamada
is a film actor, producer, philanthropist and martial artist.Koyamada co-starred as “Nobutada” opposite Tom Cruise in the Warner Bros. action epic film The Last Samurai , with a worldwide box office of $456 million. Koyamada also starred in the action original movie Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior...

 launched a leading role in the Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., also known as Warner Bros. Pictures or simply Warner Bros. , is an American producer of film and television entertainment.One of the major film studios, it is a subsidiary of Time Warner, with its headquarters in Burbank,...

 epic movie The Last Samurai
The Last Samurai
The Last Samurai is a 2003 American epic drama film directed and co-produced by Edward Zwick, who also co-wrote the screenplay based on a story by John Logan. The film was inspired by a project developed by writer and director Vincent Ward, who had previously filmed the movie in 1990, starring...

 and Disney Channel
Disney Channel
Disney Channel is an American basic cable and satellite television network, owned by the Disney-ABC Television Group division of The Walt Disney Company. It is under the direction of Disney-ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney. The channel's headquarters is located on West Alameda Ave. in...

 movie franchise Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior
Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior
Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior is a 2006 Disney Channel Original Movie starring Brenda Song and Shin Koyamada. Koyamada plays a Chinese monk who visits the title character, an American teenager played by Song, claiming Wu is the reincarnation of a powerful female warrior and the only person who can...

 and TV series Disney Channel Games
Disney Channel Games
The Disney Channel Games were annual Olympic-based televised games that aired on the Disney Channel from 2006–2008. The 2006 Games were filmed in California and produced by 7ATE9 Entertainment. In 2007 and 2008 the Games were filmed at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World...

. Masi Oka
Masi Oka
Masayori "Masi" Oka is a Japanese-American actor and digital effects artist.He has performed in numerous feature films and TV series, most prominently as Hiro Nakamura in the NBC TV series Heroes from 2006 until its cancellation in May 2010. He resides in Los Angeles, California.-Early life:Oka...

 plays a prominent role in the NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 series Heroes
Heroes (TV series)
Heroes is an American science fiction television drama series created by Tim Kring that appeared on NBC for four seasons from September 25, 2006 through February 8, 2010. The series tells the stories of ordinary people who discover superhuman abilities, and how these abilities take effect in the...

, Grant Imahara
Grant Imahara
Grant Masaru Imahara is a Japanese American electronics and radio control expert, best known for his work on the American television show MythBusters.-Education and early work:...

 appears on the Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel is an American satellite and cable specialty channel , founded by John Hendricks and distributed by Discovery Communications. It is a publicly traded company run by CEO David Zaslav...

 series MythBusters
MythBusters
MythBusters is a science entertainment TV program created and produced by Beyond Television Productions for the Discovery Channel. The series is screened by numerous international broadcasters, including Discovery Channel Australia, Discovery Channel Latin America, Discovery Channel Canada, Quest...

and Derek Mio
Derek Mio
Derek Mio is an American film and TV actor. He attended USC School of Cinematic Arts. He is a fourth-generation Japanese American.-Acting career:...

 appears in the NBC series Day One
Day One (TV series)
Day One is a planned NBC sci-fi television movie—originally a TV series pilot—about apartment residents that survive an unknown worldwide cataclysm, that destroys modern infrastructure. The movie/pilot was directed by Alex Graves, who previously directed the pilot episodes for the Fox TV series...

.

Japanese Americans now anchor TV newscasts in markets all over the country. Notable anchors include Tritia Toyota
Tritia Toyota
Tritia Toyota is a former Los Angeles television news anchor and a current adjunct assistant professor in anthropology, Asian-American studies and the media at the University of California at Los Angeles.- Early life and education :...

, Adele Arakawa
Adele Arakawa
Adele Arakawa is an American evening news anchor for NBC affiliate station KUSA-TV of Denver, Colorado. She was the first female radio disc jockey in Knoxville, Tennessee...

, David Ono, Kent Ninomiya
Kent Ninomiya
Kent Ninomiya is the first male Asian American broadcast journalist to be a primary news anchor of a television station in the United States. The Asian American Journalist Association, often referred to as the AAJA, notes that there are numerous Asian American women on the air at American...

, and Lori Matsukawa.

Works about Japanese Americans

  • Japanese Americans
    Japanese Americans (miniseries)
    is a Japanese, 5-episode miniseries produced by TBS for its 60th anniversary, starring Tsuyoshi Kusanagi and Yukie Nakama, and sponsored by Toyota and Panasonic. It tells the story of a family of Japanese immigrants who moved to American 99 years ago. When the Second World War breaks out, the...

    . In 2010 TBS
    Tokyo Broadcasting System
    , TBS Holdings, Inc. or TBSHD, is a stockholding company in Tokyo, Japan. It is a parent company of a television network named and radio network named ....

     produced a 5 part, 10hr fictional Japanese language miniseries featuring many of the major events and themes of the Issei and Nisei experience, including emigration, racism, picture brides, farming, pressure due to the China and Pacific wars, internment, a key character who serves in the 442nd and the ongoing redefinition in identity of what it means to be Japanese and American.

See also

  • Asian American
    Asian American
    Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians as "Asian” refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan,...

  • Asian Canadian
    Asian Canadian
    This is a list of Canadians of Asian ancestry. Asian Canadians comprise the largest visible minority in Canada, at 11% of the Canadian population.- Ethnicity :List of Asian Canadian Demographies according to the 2006 Census- Notable Asian Canadians :...

  • Hyphenated American
    Hyphenated American
    In the United States, the term hyphenated American is an epithet commonly used from 1890 to 1920 to disparage Americans who were of foreign birth or origin, and who displayed an allegiance to a foreign country. It was most commonly used to disparage German Americans or Irish Americans who called...

  • Japanese American Citizens League
    Japanese American Citizens League
    The was formed in 1929 to protect the rights of Japanese Americans from the state and federal governments. It fought for civil rights for Japanese Americans, assisted those in internment camps during World War II, and led a successful campaign for redress for internment from the U.S...

  • Japanese American National Library
    Japanese American National Library
    The Japanese American National Library is a non-lending library and resource center in San Francisco's Japantown for the collection and preservation of materials relating to Japanese Americans...

  • Japanese American National Museum
    Japanese American National Museum
    The opened its doors in 1992. The idea for the museum was originally thought up by Bruce Kaji with help from other notable Japanese American people at the time. The museum is located in the Little Tokyo an area near downtown Los Angeles, California. It is devoted to preserving the history and...

  • Japanese Canadian
  • Japanese Brazilian
  • Japanese British
    Japanese British
    Japanese in the United Kingdom are citizens or full time residents of the United Kingdom whose origins lie in Japan.-Background:-History and settlement:...

  • Japanese Mexican
    Japanese Mexican
    Japanese Mexican is a Mexican-born citizen of Japanese descent.-History:The first large numbers of Japanese settlers appeared in Mexico on May 10, 1897, to set up a coffee plantation business in Chiapas. Unfortunately, their business was unsuccessful, but regardless of this, many Japanese settlers...

  • Japanese people
    Japanese people
    The are an ethnic group originating in the Japanese archipelago and are the predominant ethnic group of Japan. Worldwide, approximately 130 million people are of Japanese descent; of these, approximately 127 million are residents of Japan. People of Japanese ancestry who live in other countries...

  • List of Japanese Americans
  • Model minority
    Model minority
    Model minority refers to a minority ethnic, racial, or religious group whose members achieve a higher degree of success than the population average. It is most commonly used to label one ethnic minority higher achieving than another ethnic minority...

  • Nisei Baseball Research Project
    Nisei baseball research project
    The Nisei Baseball Research Project is a non-profit 501 organization documenting, preserving and exhibiting history of Japanese American baseball. It was founded by Kerry Yo Nakagawa, the author of Through a Diamond: 100 Years of Japanese American Baseball...

  • Pacific Movement of the Eastern World
    Pacific Movement of the Eastern World
    The Pacific Movement of the Eastern World was a 1930s North American based pro-Japanese movement of African Americans which promoted the idea that Japan was the champion of all non-white peoples....

  • Chicago Shimpo
    Chicago Shimpo
    The , published by Chicago Shimpo, Inc. , is a Japanese-American newspaper published in Chicago, Illinois. As of 1995 it was published twice weekly. Its offices are located in Albany Park, Chicago...


Further reading

  • "Present-Day Immigration with Special Reference to the Japanese," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (Jan 1921), pp. 1-232 online 24 articles by experts, mostly about California
  • Inouye, Karen M., “Changing History: Competing Notions of Japanese American Experience, 1942–2006” (PhD dissertation Brown University, 2008). Dissertation Abstracts International No. DA3318331.
  • Lai, Eric, and Dennis Arguelles, eds. "The New Face of Asian Pacific America: Numbers, Diversity, and Change in the 21st century." San Francisco, CA: Asian Week, 2003.
  • Kikumura-Yano, Akemi, ed. "Encyclopedia of Japanese Descendants in the Americas." Walnut Creek, CA: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2002.

  • Moulin, Pierre. (1993). U.S. Samurais in Bruyeres – People of France and Japanese Americans: Incredible story Hawaii CPL Editions. ISBN 2-9599984-0-5
  • Moulin, Pierre. (2007). Dachau, Holocaust and US Samurais – Nisei Soldiers first in Dachau Authorhouse Editions. ISBN 978-1-4259-3801-7

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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