Thesis

Japanese American landownership during internment: a detailed examination of select regions of Sacramento and San Joaquin counties

Detailed information on economic losses suffered by Japanese American internees is scarce, especially community-specific detail. This study helps to address this problem by examining Japanese American landownership in communities within Sacramento and San Joaquin County during internment. Because of its relevance to economic activity as well as its psychological connection to community identity, landownership is of particular interest in examining the effects of internment.
 To develop an understanding of how internment affected real estate owned by Japanese Americans and how Japanese Americans reacted to protect their own interests, this study relies primarily on property and financial records held at county recorder offices and oral histories collected by the California State University Oral History program. Other sources proved vital to compiling lists of Japanese American-owned properties in the studied area, particularly property tax records and the Stockton City Directory.
 Internment proved to have a significant and deleterious effect on Japanese American land ownership. All of the regions examined saw a decrease in Japanese American-owned land, generally resulting from economic hardships associated with internment. Whites did not organize to deprive Japanese Americans of their land, and panic sales or extraordinary pressures not related to a reduction in income had little to no effect on Japanese American real estate holdings during internment. Most of the Japanese American land sales that did not ensue from reduced income and financial obligations occurred because of permanent migration that followed removal and internment.

Thesis (M.A., History) -- California State University, Sacramento, 2010.

Detailed information on economic losses suffered by Japanese American internees is scarce, especially community-specific detail. This study helps to address this problem by examining Japanese American landownership in communities within Sacramento and San Joaquin County during internment. Because of its relevance to economic activity as well as its psychological connection to community identity, landownership is of particular interest in examining the effects of internment. To develop an understanding of how internment affected real estate owned by Japanese Americans and how Japanese Americans reacted to protect their own interests, this study relies primarily on property and financial records held at county recorder offices and oral histories collected by the California State University Oral History program. Other sources proved vital to compiling lists of Japanese American-owned properties in the studied area, particularly property tax records and the Stockton City Directory. Internment proved to have a significant and deleterious effect on Japanese American land ownership. All of the regions examined saw a decrease in Japanese American-owned land, generally resulting from economic hardships associated with internment. Whites did not organize to deprive Japanese Americans of their land, and panic sales or extraordinary pressures not related to a reduction in income had little to no effect on Japanese American real estate holdings during internment. Most of the Japanese American land sales that did not ensue from reduced income and financial obligations occurred because of permanent migration that followed removal and internment.

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