“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Webster in Harris County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Seito and Kiyoaki Saibara

Contributions to the Texas Rice Industry by

Seito and Kiyoaki Saibara Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans, April 4, 2009
1. Seito and Kiyoaki Saibara Marker
Inscription. Seito Saibara (1861-1939), former president of Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan, and first Christian member of the Japanese Diet (Parliament). Arrived in the United States in 1901 to study theology, and with the desire to establish a Japanese colony in America. Saibara came to Texas in August 1903 at the invitation of the Houston Chamber of Commerce to advise farmers on the cultivation of rice, which was emerging as a major cash crop. He decided rice farming was the ideal business for a colony, leased this tract of land (which he later purchased), and sent for his family.

The oldest son, Kiyoaki Saibara (1884-1972), brought from Japan 300 pounds of Shinriki seed, a variety superior to native rice; and together, father and son planted a field near the canal (½ mile NE). Their first crops were utilized primarily for distribution as seed in Texas and Louisiana. The Saibaras built a house (250 yards S), and several families soon moved here from Japan, but the colonization effort failed because of disillusionment and homesickness of the new colonists.

Seito Saibara aided the growth of the Texas rice industry with improved rice strains and agricultural techniques until his death, and Kiyoaki Saibara continued new developments until his retirement in 1964.
Erected 1974
Seito and Kiyoaki Saibara Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans, August 22, 2016
2. Seito and Kiyoaki Saibara Marker
by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 10758.)
Location. 29° 32.356′ N, 95° 6.938′ W. Marker is in Webster, Texas, in Harris County. Marker is at the intersection of East NASA Parkway and Old Galveston Road, on the right when traveling east on East NASA Parkway. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Webster TX 77598, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Mercury-Redstone (approx. 1.7 miles away); Little Joe II (approx. 1.7 miles away); Fairview Cemetery (approx. 1.9 miles away); Site of Galveston County Poor Farm (approx. 2 miles away); Apollo Mission Control Center (approx. 2.1 miles away); T.J. and Mary Lelia Dick House (approx. 2.4 miles away); First Baptist Church (approx. 2.4 miles away); St. Mary Mission Church (approx. 2˝ miles away).
Also see . . .  Kiyoaki Saibara. Texas State Historical Association (Submitted on December 6, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
Categories. AgricultureAsian Americans
Credits. This page was last revised on August 25, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 2, 2011, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas. This page has been viewed 1,032 times since then and 54 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on December 2, 2011, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas.   2. submitted on August 22, 2016, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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