- 大阪大学言語文化学 (ISSN:09181504)
- vol.7, pp.175-187, 1998
There is only a hundred years' history in immigration from Japan to the United States. However, a great deal of effort has been made on the study of the early Japanese immigrants from many aspects in many fields. My concern is to examine the Japanese immigrants and their community from 1885 to 1924, the early part of the immigrants' history, through guidebooks written by those who experienced different cultures and published in both Japan and the United States Among the many varieties of guidebooks,I focus on booklets and leaflets which were written in simple Japanese words and expressions. Although the rate of literate Japanese immigrants was reportedly very high,it is doubtful that all of them were able to read and understand the complicated guidebooks easily, considering the class most of the immigrants belonged to in their home country. Therefore it could be thought that many of them relied upon such short publications as booklets and leaflets Through this research, I hope to shed new light on certain immigrants and their community which have been neglected in previous studies. The period, 1885-1924, falls roughly into three phases: (1) "the beginning period" when the early immigrants, including government-sponsored contract laborers. crossed the Pacific Ocean for "money on trees". (2) "the peak period" when the immigrants' families including "picture brides." left Japan and the number of immigrants reached its peak; and (3) "The backlash period" when "law" had made the anti-Japanese mood more visible and material and the various rights of the Japanese immigrants were denied by their host society. In each period, the guidebooks, booklets and leaflets provided up-to-date information for the Japanese immigrants and we can observe the actual circumstances of the immigrants clearly. Tobeifujin Kokoroe is one leaflet for "picture brides" and other women immigrants which was published in "the peak period." This is one of historical artifact that tells us how the early Japanese immigrants tried to survive and prosper in their new world and a different culture, without as much information as we have now.