Japanese American Elders
through the decades of the 1900s
Based on information in COHORT ANALYSIS AS A TOOL IN ETHNOGERIATRICS,
Yeo, et.al (1999) , a publication of the Stanford Geriatric Education Center
Used with permission of the SGEC faculty
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Each Cohort webpage contains the following information:
General Information
Decade of Interest
Related to the Age of Your Patient
If the age of your patient is:
1900-20
1920-40
1940-60
1960-80
1980-present
55-65 yrs
65-75 yrs
75-85 yrs
85+ yrs
Terms used to describe Japanese generational and cohort groupings help with understand family interactions:
Issei - the early immigrant pioneers from Japan.
Nisei - the American-born children of the Issei.
Sansei - children of Nisei.
Kibei - young Nisei (usually sons) sent oversears for a Japanese education.
Shin-Issei - post 1965 Japanese immigrants.
Senso Hanayome - post World War II brides
Nikkei -.a relatively recent term which is used to refer to Japanese Americans as a whole.
"The Issei and Nisei placed their faith and hopes in the success of their children to insure that they had opportunities that were denied them. They emphasized hard work, responsibility, and respect for authority. As a result, Japanese Americans are considered the most acculturated and assimilated Asian subgroup and they have been characterized as a "model minority." But in spite of their overall success and achievements, many factors may hinder successful aging for today's diverse older Japanese American population: (Yeo, et al, 1999, pg. 25-30)
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Years
Historical Events:
Japanese American Elders
age 55-65
age 65-75
age 75-85
age 85+
1990s
  • First apologies and redress payments sent to survivors.
Young
Adults &
Middle
Aged
Middle
Aged &
Young Old
Young Old
&
Old

Old

1980s
  • High rates of "outmarriages" - marrying outside the Japanese community.
  • 1988 - Civil Liberties Act, apology/payment of $20,000 to 60,000 survivors.
  • Commission on Wartime Relocation/Internment of Civilians reviews Executive Order 9066 constitutionality, reports "personal justice denied".
Young
Adults &
Middle
Aged
Middle
Aged &
Young Old
Young Old
&
Old
Old
1970s
  • "Model minority" label begins.
  • Sansei (third generation Japanese Americans) enter mainstream professions
Adolescents
& Young
Adults
Young
Adults &
Middle Aged
Middle
Aged &
Young Old
Young Old
&
Old
1940 -
1960
  • Nisei (second generation Japanese Americans) determined to succeed, integrate; "make no waves".
  • 1959 - Hawaii becomes 50th state; first Japanese American, Daniel Inouye, elected to Congress.
  • Walter-McCarran Immigration and Naturalization Act passed; Asian immigrants allowed to become naturalized citizens; repeal of Alien Land Laws in California.
  • 1946 - U.S. drops atomic bombs on Hiroshima/Nagasaki, ends war with Japan; Japanese American resettlement on West Coast met with hostility and housing shortages.
  • 1945 - 45,000 Japanese war brides enter the U.S.
  • 1943 - Military recruitment for all-Japanese-American combat unit, 442nd RCT activated; Internees denied right to vote; confusing loyalty questionnaire administered in camps causes family conflicts; 200 men convicted and sentenced to 3 years in prison for refusing induction.
  • 1942 - Japanese Americans of draft age declared "enemy aliens"; President Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066, Japanese Americans exclusion from West Coast; incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans in "relocation centers."
  • 1941 - Japan attacks U.S. fleet and military bases in Pearl Harbor; U.S. declares war on Japan, Germany, and Italy; incarceration of community leaders.
Children & Adolescents
Adolescents
& Young
Adults
Young
Adults &
Middle
Aged
Middle
Aged &
Young Old
1920 -
1940
  • 1937 - U.S. breaks off all relations with Japan after invasion of Nationalist China.
  • 1924 - Immigration Exclusion Act ends all Asian immigration except Filipinos.
  • 1922 - Cable Act: anyone marrying an Issei (first generation Japanese immigrants) loses citizenship (repealed in 1936).
  • Japanese Americans considered "inscrutable".
Children
Children & Adolescents
Adolescents
& Young
Adults
Young
Adults &
Middle
Aged
1900 -
1920
  • Primary period of Japanese immigration to the U.S.
  • 1913 - California's "aliens ineligible for citizenship" prohibited from land ownership; only "free white persons" eligible for citizenship; 3 year limit on land leases; similar laws in 10 other states.
  • 1908 - Gentleman's Agreement, Japan will not issue visas to Japanese laborers; but wives, children, and families are allowed; era of "Picture Brides".

..

Children
Children & Adolescents
Adolescents
& Young
Adults
Pre-1900
  • Chinese Exclusion Act, stops immigration from China; increased demand for Japanese American immigrants to West coast; population of married women jumps from 410 in 1900 to 22,193 in 1920.
  • 1869 - Japanese immigrants arrive in California.
  • 1868 - Japanese immigrants to Hawaii as contract laborers.

..

..

Children

Children & Adolescents

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