The Association for Asian American Studies has awarded Masakazu Iwata the 1993 National Book Award for Lifetime Scholarship for this book. Based upon numerous interviews on site as well as English and Japanese documents, the book is a narrative history of the Japanese migrants and, specifically, their experiences as immigrants to the continental United States in the late 19th and the 20th centuries. The focus is upon the
Issei, the first generation Japanese in America, who upon arrival entered the fishing, timber, mining, and railroad industries in the American West but shortly left the ranks of labor to become independent farm operators, mainly in the various states west of the Missouri River. It broadly delineates the socio-economic milieu of the times and depicts the arduous, agonizing ascendancy of the Issei up the agricultural ladder in the various regions of settlement, while dealing with their successes and failures as well as general contributions made in their adopted land prior to 1941.
New York, Bern, Frankfurt/M., Berlin, Paris, Wien, 1992. XXXII, 960 pp., 2 vols. boxed
Contents: Japanese migration. Issei emigration. Issei immigration to the U.S.. Issei in ranks of labor. Issei in agriculture
on the Pacific Coast. Issei in agriculture in the Intermountain states. Issei in agriculture in the Southwest. Issei in agriculture
in the Midwest. Issei in agriculture in the Southeast.