In the wake of Japanese military victories over the Chinese and the Russians as well as following the turmoil of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and a resultant segregation order by the San Francisco Board of Education against Japanese and Korean schoolchildren, President Theodore Roosevelt’s federal government negotiated a Gentlemen’s Agreement with Japan that defused threats of war, ended the segregation order, and limited Japanese immigration.
After Japan’s Meiji Restoration began in 1868, Japanese emigrants began to seek their fortunes in California. After the passage of the
President Theodore Roosevelt.
The San Francisco earthquake of April 18, 1906, destroyed municipal records that had inflamed fears concerning the incursion of the supposedly more aggressive, clever, and acquisitive Japanese. On October 11, 1906, as temporary and rehabilitated public schools were ready to reopen, the San Francisco Board of Education ordered the segregation of Japanese and
The Gentlemen’s Agreement forced the rescinding of the board of education order. In return, the Japanese government agreed not to issue any new passports for Japanese citizens who sought to work in the United States. However, parents, children, and wives of Japanese laborers already in the United States could still immigrate to the United States. Also, critics of the agreement noted the loophole that Japanese laborers could still freely immigrate to the territory of Hawaii, and the
Chan, Sucheng. Asian Americans: An Interpretive History. Boston: Twayne, 1991. Comprehensive social and political history of four principal Asian immigrant cultures (Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean) includes treatment of diplomatic and legal landmarks and struggles. Daniels, Roger. The Politics of Prejudice: The Anti-Japanese Movement in California and the Struggle for Japanese Exclusion. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999. Details issues of regionalism and racial politics in late nineteenth and early twentieth century California. Esthus, Raymond A. Theodore Roosevelt and Japan. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1967. Chronological history that describes how statesmanship kept the United States and Japan on diplomatic terms even as Japan waged war with the Russians, annexed Korea, and negotiated the informal Gentlemen’s Agreement with the United States. Kiyama, Henry, and Frederik Schodt. The Four Immigrants Manga: A Japanese Experience in San Francisco, 1904-1924. Berkeley, Calif.: Stone Bridge Press, 1999. Manga (graphic novel) treatment of four Japanese immigrants to San Francisco, humorously poking fun at the quirky and culturally obtuse behavior of their employers from the perspective of student-workers. Neu, Charles E. Troubled Encounter: The United States and Japan. Malabar, Fla.: R. E. Krieger, 1979. Diplomatic study of Japanese-U.S. relations from beginning of the Meiji Restoration (1868) through the late twentieth century. Details how the Gentlemen’s Agreement of 1907 was a precursor to more draconian immigration measures of 1924 that exacerbated relations between the two countries. _______. An Uncertain Friendship: Theodore Roosevelt and Japan, 1906-1909. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1967. Describes Roosevelt’s complex relationship with the Japanese government during the latter years of his second term as well as the legacy leading into the diplomacy policies of the William Taft administration. Takaki, Ronald. Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian-Americans. Boston: Little, Brown, 1989. Historical study of Asian Americans with significant treatment of the settling of Japanese America and resultant ethnic stereotyping, prejudice, and state and federal legal issues.
Alien land laws
Asiatic Exclusion League
Immigration Act of 1924
Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952
“Yellow peril” campaign