The United States is a "country of immigration, more so than emigration (Christian Joppke, p. 27)."This country was built by the hands, sweat, determination, passion, and dreams of individuals who detached themselves from their mother lands and took risk.While some people arrived on this soil per choice and desire, others were kidnapped from the home lands they had intended on residing in for their entire lives.Not all immigrants were met with a welcome and a position in a great job.The Japanese American immigrants are a group who never entered the Americas with a solid welcome mat, rather an illusionary one.American citizens opened the gates to them when they needed their railroads fixed and thus had to find another group willing to provide cheap labor.American citizens set bounds, standards, and levels that a Japanese immigrant could reach before they would be cut off.The experience of the Japanese immigrants was one that tasted as many salty and bitter moments as it did sweet.Stifling their cultural identity meant survival and an opportunity to have a better job, such as being the leader of a labor team.The historical migrations, experiences, and contributions of Japanese immigrants have played key roles in the shaping of the Japanese-American identity today.
Thefirst documented mass emigration of Japanese into the United States was in early spring of 1868 and included 153 Japanese migrants bound for adventure and the possibility of a new life.Thefirst official migrants arrived in Hawaii in 1885 with prospects of contract labor at many of the local sugar plantations. Like many immigrants the Japanese came to America with faith that they could be successful in a country with such a strong foundation for immigration, but would face years of intolerance, and abolished immigration rights.
Within six years of thefirst official Japanese migration, thefirst anti-Japanese movement planted its r…