Wednesday, December 2, 2009

No Japs in Our Schools / Citizens' Mass Meeting

December 10 1906:
"Under the Auspices of the Japanese and Korean Exclusion League / The Meeting will be Addressed by Mayor Eugene E. Schmitz... and Other Prominent Citizens / Be Sure to Attend and Register Your Protest By Your Presence"

Japan War Scare of 1906-1907
At the turn of the century, US and Japanese interests appeared to be aligned. A US-Japanese treaty signed in 1894 had guaranteed the Japanese the right to immigrate to the United States, and to enjoy the same rights in the country as US citizens [but not to become citizens]. Both nations supported the idea of an “open door” for commercial expansion in China. After the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05, US President Theodore Roosevelt acted as a mediator at Japan’s request, and the two sides of the conflict met on neutral territory in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
And in 1905, US Secretary of War William Howard Taft met with Prime Minister Katsura Taro in Japan. The Anglo-Japanese Treaty of 1902 had been a source of some concern for the United States. Because of the 1902 agreement between Britain and Japan, if the United States and Japan entered into a conflict, Britain might be obligated to join Japan against the United States. The two concluded the secret Taft-Katsura Agreement, in which the United States acknowledged Japanese rule over Korea and condoned the Anglo-Japanese alliance of 1902. At the same time, Japan recognized US control of the Philippines.
But not too long after the turn of the century, tensions rose over Japanese actions in northeast China and immigration to the United States. Japan had real grievances against the United States. In excluding Japanese immigrants, America offended Japan's pride. In Japan the military spirit had become a national cult. The anti-Japanese movement became widespread by 1905, due both to increasing immigration and the Japanese victory over Russia, the first defeat of a western nation by an Asian nation in modern times. The Japanese were a major focus of California politics in the fifty years before World War II. Their small numbers, their political impotence and the racial feelings of many Californians frequently combined with resentment at the immigrants' willingness to labor for low pay to make them a convenient target for demagogues or agitators. In 1900, both the Democrats and the Populists of California adopted expressly anti-Japanese planks in their platforms; similarly, the Republican position proposed effective restriction on "cheap foreign labor." - Web Link

On October 11, 1906, the San Francisco Board of Education ordered that Japanese students in the city’s public schools henceforth be taught in racially segregated schools

Japanese immigration to the continental United States was concentrated during the years 1900-1920, and was always governed by changing legal restrictions and relations between the two nations. As the population and success of Japanese communities grew in the United States, so did the racial prejudice against them. The anti-Japanese campaigns began with racial stereotypes and propaganda, and became institutionalized into laws that denied Japanese citizenship and prohibited property ownership.

Here is the clip which is a short music video on the Japanese American Internment in the United States to the music of Within Temptation (Overcome). - This is not the period of the early 1900s. However, it shows the hars time of the Japanese Americans during World War 2.

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