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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Monterey in Monterey County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

The Japanese Community

Historic Cannery Row

 
 
The Japanese Community Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, April 23, 2012
1. The Japanese Community Marker
Inscription. While the majority of Monterey’s commercial fishermen in the 1930s were Sicilian, about 10 percent of the fleet were Japanese nationals, some of whom has been fishing the bay since 1900. These Issei – first generation Japanese – came as single men from the Inland Sea coast of Honshu. In the early days of the cannery industry, the Issei were the principal suppliers of abalone and salmon. Ineligible for American citizenship, they encountered increasing social and regulatory discrimination. Many relocated to southern California. Some who remained formed cooperatives, fishing with half-ring and purse seiner boats, and earning wages based on shares of the catch.

The sardine season in Monterey ran from August to February and ranged from the Big Sur coast to San Francisco. The Issei fished at night, when they could see the phosphorescent glimmers on the schools of fishes below the water’s surface. Since bright light prevented them from seeing those glimmers, they didn’t fish during the full moon. Nor did they fish on Saturday nights in observance of the Sabbath. A number of Monterey Japanese were Presbyterians and formed their own church in 1925.

Active participation in the Monterey fishing industry ended for the Japanese at the outset of World War II, when their boats were impounded, and they were forcibly
The Japanese Community Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, April 23, 2012
2. The Japanese Community Marker
relocated to interment camps for the duration of the conflict.
 
Location. 36° 37.022′ N, 121° 54.092′ W. Marker is in Monterey, California, in Monterey County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Bruce Ariss Way and Recreation Trail. Click for map. This marker, with several others, is located on Bruce Ariss Way, a walking path/stairway, between Cannery Row and the Monterey Recreation Trail. Marker is in this post office area: Monterey CA 93940, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Filipino Community (a few steps from this marker); The Spanish Community (a few steps from this marker); A Day in the Canneries (a few steps from this marker); The Real “Docs” (a few steps from this marker); One Man, Two Worlds (a few steps from this marker); John Steinbeck (a few steps from this marker); Jone Quock Mui (within shouting distance of this marker); Ed Ricketts’s Backyard (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Monterey.
 
Also see . . .  Parade of Cultures - Cannery Row. Japanese immigrants began arriving in the early 1890s and were responsible for the advancement of abalone fishing in the Monterey Bay. (Submitted on May 6, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
 
Categories. Asian Americans
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 453 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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