Japanese in New York City
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|Ethnicity in New York City|
In 1876 six Japanese businessmen arrived in New York City on the Oceanic and established companies. They were the first Japanese people in New York state. Amost all of the 1,000 Issei in New York State by 1900 were in New York City. The Chinese Exclusion Acts of 1882 restricted Japanese immigration to the United States and the United States and Japanese governments had a gentlemen's agreement where the Japanese would deny visas to laborers wishing to immigrate to the United States in exchange for the U.S. not officially ending Japanese immigration. For those reasons, before the 1950s New York City had few Japanese immigrants. Japanese individuals of higher socioeconomic backgrounds did enter New York City during that period. Until the 1960s there was never a greater number than 5,000 Japanese people in New York State.
The National Origins Act of 1924 officially barred Japanese immigration into the United States. By the 1920s Issei in high socioeconomic positions had moved to Long Island and to New Rochelle and Scarsdale in Westchester County.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 the Japanese consulate in New York City closed. Several Japanese businesses closed as well. The overall New York State Japanese was not mass-interned. Issei community leaders were interned at Ellis Island. After the internment of Japanese Americans ended, New York's Japanese community accepted the arrivals who had formerly been interned.
Japanese officials connected with the United Nations arrived in the 1950s and businesspeople associated with Japanese companies began arriving in the late 1950s. Japanese immigrants became the main presence of Japanese communities after the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.
As of 2011, Sam Dolnick and Kirk Semple of The New York Times wrote that the "prominent outpost of Japanese culture" in New York City was a group of sake bars and sushi restaurant in East Village, Manhattan. An area in Midtown East by the Japan Society and the Consulate-General of Japan in New York City houses Japanese cafes, markets, and corporate offices.
As of 2002, there are 2,528 Japanese citizens employed by 273 companies in the states of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
The Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York stated that in 1992 357 companies had operations in Greater New York City and these companies employed 6,048 Japanese nationals living in Greater New York City. The Japanese consulate in New York City stated that in 1992 there were about 16,000 Japanese people living in Westchester County, New York, and about 25-33% of the expatriates employed by the Japanese companies in the New York City area lived in Westchester County. Prior to a few years before 2002 Japanese companies gave benefits to staff, and the annual supporting costs of a mid-level employee were about $50,000. The companies provided cars with full-time chauffeurs for senior staff and paid for golf club membership, magazine subscriptions, tuition for schools, and housing expenses for all employees.
By 2002 the Japanese presence in Westchester County decreased since many Japanese companies reduced or eliminated overseas departments due to the recession in Japan. Japanese companies also eliminated many benefits for their overseas staff. The population of Japanese citizens employed by the companies decreased 58% from 1992 to 2002.
As of 2011 within the city the largest groups of Japanese residents are in Astoria, Queens and Yorkville in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. As of the 2010 U.S. Census there are about 1,300 Japanese in Astoria and about 1,100 Japanese in Yorkville. 500 Japanese people lived in East Village. As of the same year, there are about 6,000 Japanese in Bergen County, New Jersey and 5,000 Japanese in Westchester County, New York. As of that year most short-term Japanese business executives in Greater New York City reside in Midtown Manhattan or in New York City suburbs.
In 2011 Dolnick and Semple wrote that while other ethnic groups in the New York City region cluster in specific areas, the Japanese were distributed "thinly" and "without a focal point" such as Chinatown for the Chinese. They stated that the relatively low number of Japanese in the city and area contributed to a lack of a focal point existing: there were about 20,000 Japanese in New York City compared to 305,000 Chinese. They wrote that Japanese supermarkets such as the Mitsuwa Marketplace in Edgewater, New Jersey are "[t]closest thing to hubs" of Japanese influence in Greater New York City.
As of 2000 Japanese expatriates in Westchester County, New York lived mostly in Scarsdale, and according to Lisa W. Foderaro of The New York Times it was well known as a place in Japan with good housing stock and schools. In addition some Japanese, as of 2000, seek housing and apartments in Eastchester, Harrison, Hartsdale, and Rye.
Due to the declining Japanese economy, by 2000 the Japanese presence in Westchester County had decreased, and as of 2002 the declining presence lead to closures of businesses and the end of some activities.
As of 2011 there were about 20,000 Japanese in New York City and a total of 45,000 in the Greater New York City area. Many of the Japanese are from transient groups such as university students, artists, and business workers. Many expatriate business executives and workers are posted to the United States for three to five year terms. As of 2011 65% of the Japanese in New York City have bachelor's degrees and the median income for Japanese over the age of 25 is $60,000. This is $10,000 above the citywide median income.
In 2011 Sam Dolnick and Kirk Semple of The New York Times wrote that few Japanese organizations in New York City have "broad-based constituencies" and those that exist tend to promote Japanese arts and assist elderly populations. They added that among the Japanese community there are "few" civic or religious leaders with prominence.
In 1901 the Japanese Methodist Church opened in New York City. In 1905 the social organization Nippon Club opened. In 1907 the Japan Society, an artistic foundation, opened. The Japan Society was an interracial organization. In 1930 the leaders of the Japanese Association sponsored the Tozei Club, an all-Nisei organization. The Nippon Club was seized after the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. The property was sold.
The Japanese American Association of New York (JAA, ニューヨーク日系人会 Nyūyōku Nikkeijin Kai) is in operation. There is a Consulate-General of Japan in New York City located on the 18th Floor of 299 Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. The Noguchi Museum is located in Long Island City, Queens.
The Shukan NY Seikatsu (週刊NY生活), published by the New York Seikatsu Press, is a weekly Japanese-language newspaper in the New York City area. It was founded in January 2004. The paper is headquartered in Midtown Manhattan.
From 1901 to 1925 the Japanese American Commercial Weekly (日米週報 Nichi-Bei Shūhō) was published and served as the community's newspaper. The Japanese name of the paper after 1918 became the 日米時報 Nichi-Bei Jihō.
The Japanese American (日米時報 Nichi-Bei Jihō) was published from 1924 to 1941. In 1931 the Japanese American began an English section. In 1939 the English section became its own newspaper, the Japanese American Review.
Primary and secondary schools
Two Japanese international day schools serving elementary and junior high school levels, the Japanese School of New York in Greenwich, Connecticut and the New Jersey Japanese School in Oakland, New Jersey serve the Greater New York City area. Prior to 1991 the Japanese School of New York was in New York City. The New Jersey school opened in 1992 as a branch campus of the New York school and became its own school in 1999. The Keio Academy of New York, a Japanese boarding high school, is located in Harrison, New York.
In 1983 the majority of Japanese national students within Greater New York City attended U.S. schools. To have education in the Japanese language and Japanese literature, they attend the weekend classes offered by the Japanese School of New York.
There are two dedicated supplementary Japanese school systems in the New York City area.
The Japanese Weekend School of New York (ニューヨーク補習授業校 Nyūyōku Hoshū Jugyō Kō) has its offices in New Roc City in New Rochelle, New York. As of 2006 the school had about 800 students, including Japanese citizens, and Japanese Americans, at locations in Westchester County and Long Island. The class locations include The Rufus King School (P.S.26Q) in Fresh Meadows, Queens, and Port Chester Middle School in Port Chester, New York.
The Japanese Weekend School of New Jersey (ニュージャージー補習授業校 Nyūjājī Hoshū Jugyō Kō) holds its classes at Paramus Catholic High School in Paramus, New Jersey while its offices are in Fort Lee, New Jersey.
In 2011 the New American Leaders Project stated that it was not aware of any first or second generation Japanese immigrant in a citywide office in New York City or a statewide New York office.
- Yuriko Amemiya (dancer) (settled NYC from internment camp)
- Tooru Kanazawa (journalist) (Nisei)
- Yuri Kochiyama (activist) (settled NYC from internment camp)
- Kikuko Miyakawa (poet) (Nisei)
- T. Scott Miyakawa (sociologist) (Nisei)
- Isamu Noguchi (sculptor) (Nisei)
- Miné Okubo (settled NYC from internment camp)
- Sono Osato (entertainer) (Nisei)
- Larry Tajiri (journalist) (Nisei)
- Kathleen Tamagawa (memoirist) (Nisei)
- George Yamaoka (lawyer) (Nisei)
Japanese nationals and immigrants included:
- Alfred Akamatsu (minister)
- Sadakichi Hartmann (early 20th century)
- Eitaro Ishigaki (among 100 Japanese artists working in NYC between World War I and World War II)
- Yasuo Kuniyoshi (among 100 Japanese artists working in NYC between World War I and World War II)
- Haru Matsui (activist)
- Toru Matsumoto (activist)
- Hideyo Noguchi (early 20th century)
- Yone Noguchi (early 20th century)
- Bunji Omura (writer)
- Jokichi Takamine (early 20th century)
- Taro Yashima (among 100 Japanese artists working in NYC between World War I and World War II)
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- "LI校" (Archive). Japanese Weekend School of New York. Retrieved on July 8, 2013.
- "ウエストチェスター校" (Archive). Japanese Weekend School of New York. Retrieved on July 8, 2013.
- "入学のご案内 entrance." (Archive) Japanese Weekend School of New Jersey. Retrieved on July 7, 2013. "Japanese Weekend School of NJ ニュージャージー補習授業校事務所 2 Executive Drive, Suite 660, Fort Lee, NJ 07024"
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- (Japanese) Uranishi, Kazuhiko (浦西 和彦 Uranishi Kazuhiko). "前田河広一朗と 「日米時報」" (Archive). 関西大学国文学会. 31 January 2002. Posted at Kansai University.